Kenya army personnel retrieve the mangled wreck of a pick-up truck that plunged into River Gura. (Photo: Mose Sammy, Standard)
Two people died in a road accident along the Kiandu-Karima road, Othaya.
The driver of the Toyota double-cab pick-up they were travelling in lost control of the vehicle and it rolled down a cliff.
One of the dead was the brother of National Intelligence Service (NIS) boss Philip Kameru, Augustine Mathenge.
Mr Mathenge was travelling with a friend, Patrick Kibui, when their car plunged into Gura River on Saturday night.
The accident happened about 400 metres from Mathenge’s home in Othaya.
Mathenge, the director of Nyeri-based Lichi Security, was the one driving, police said.
Chaos on Jogoo Road as pupils protest
The car rolled down a 100-metre slope before landing in the river. The two died on the spot.
Residents say they were woken up by a loud bang. They saw the car rolling down the slope into the river. Joseph Wachira, a resident, said by the time he and others rushed to the scene, the two were dead.
Put guard rails
“The driver was lying by the car and the passenger was thrown (a few metres away),” Mr Wachira told The Standard.
He added that the area was a black spot and urged the Kenya National Highways Authority to put up guard rails.
Nyeri South Divisional police Commander Joseph Mwika said officers were investigating the incident. The wreckage was retrieved from the river on Sunday by a rescue team from the Kenya Defence Forces. Around 3,000 people die in road accidents in Kenya annually.
Between 3,000 and 13,000 Kenyans lose their lives in road traffic crashes every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Most of these people are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists, WHO said. In addition, nearly one-third of the deaths are among passengers – many of whom are killed in unsafe forms of public transportation, it added.
The National Transport Safety Authority says the country’s roads are getting more and more dangerous, with increased fatalities reported from 2015 to 2016. Poor enforcement of traffic rules and bad roads make travel in Kenya risky.