Five people died on Sunday night following an accident on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway in Machakos. The accident involved a distribution van of the Star newspapers and a trailer at the Maanzoni area near the Machakos turn off shortly before 11pm.
Among those who perished were two Star company drivers who were ferrying yesterday's newspapers to the distributor at Makutano market, five kilometers away from the scene of the accident.
Two women and a man, who were hurled out of the vehicle following the impact with the trailer, also died. Speaking to the press in his office yesterday, Machakos police boss Rashid Ali said the accident was caused by a stationery sand lorry, which had broken down in the middle of the road and did not display hazard signs in front and behind it.
"The trailer coming from the Mombasa direction was overtaking the stalled sand lorry when it met head on with the newspaper van,"' he said. The driver and a woman who was in the cabin were trapped in the mangled wreckage prompting traffic police to call in the Machakos fire brigade, who removed them.
Those seated behind were thrown out of the vehicle during the impact and died from severe head injuries. The crew of the lorry fled from the scene following the accident but re-appeared yesterday to offload the sand.
"We are going to take them to court to face charges of causing death by obstruction," Ali said. The trailer, which was ferrying chemicals from Mombasa, and the Star van were towed to Machakos police station.