ELEVEN people died in a dawn accident at Quarry area on the Nakuru Eldoret highway when the matatu they were traveling in collided head-on with a trailer. The 6am accident occurred near the Eldama Ravine junction. The trailer was ferrying metal bars from Nairobi to Malaba while the North Rift shuttle matatu was travelling from Eldoret to Nairobi.
A woman who survived the accident was critically injured and taken to hospital. Koibatek deputy county commissioner Samson Macharia said among the dead are nine men and two women. The trailer's driver and turn boy are said to have fled the scene of the accident.
A passenger who was in the trailer escaped unhurt. "I was given a lift from Kangemi where I had gone to buy stock for my business. I was asleep when I heard a scream then a deafening crash. I saw the driver and turn boy come out running. I have not seen them since," the man, who is a second hand clothes dealer from Malaba said.
Macharia said witnesses said the trailer was overtaking another vehicle when it collided head-on with the matatu. "The impact was so huge that the head of the lorry became disengaged from its body. The matatu was dragged 40 metres before it stopped," Macharia said.
He said initial investigations show that the trailer driver might have been free wheeling on a downward slope. Macharia appealed to drivers to be careful, especially during the Easter festivities when thousands of Kenyans travel to join their families in different places. The bodies were taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary in Eldoret.