At least 23 people have been confirmed dead and several others injured in two separate road accidents in Kenya over the weekend.
Thirteen people died in an accident on Sunday evening along the Thika-Garissa road in central Kenya. The other accident, along Nakuru-Eldoret highway in northwest Kenya, killed 10 people on Saturday night.
Central Regional Police Commander Gideon Amalla told Xinhua on Monday that the 8.30 p.m. Thika accident involved a 14-seat minibus (matatu) and a truck.
“The matatu of Kinatwa Sacco was from Nairobi direction heading to Kitui (eastern Kenya). Upon reaching Kilimambogo area while trying to avoid a head-on collision with unknown motorcycle rammed head on with an oncoming lorry which was from opposite direction,” Kibunja said.
“As a result the matatu driver and 10 passengers died on the spot,” he said, noting that three others died while undergoing treatment in hospital.
The police commander said the number of fatalities could rise as some of the injured were in critical condition.
The accident caused a major traffic snarl-up as police and rescue teams cleared the scene.
The accident on Saturday also involved a 14-seat matatu; 10 people died and three others were injured after the minibus collided with two trucks along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway in Makutano area.
Rift Valley Traffic Enforcement Officer Zero Arome said the accident involved a Nissan matatu heading to Eldoret and two trucks heading to Mombasa from the Malaba border.
“The Nissan matatu heading to Eldoret lost control after a tire burst before it collided with an oncoming truck. It swerved and hit a second truck,” Arome said.
According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) about 150 people had died in road accidents between Dec. 1 and 13.
According to preliminary investigations, the causes of these crashes included speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
More than 30 people died on Dec. 12 after a crash involving 15 vehicles in Sachang’wan along the busy Nakuru-Edlroet highway.
The night before, a family of 19 died in another crash in Bungoma in western Kenya.
On Dec. 9, seven musicians from the popular Kenene international band, a well-known Kalenjin music group, died in an accident along Nakuru-Eldoret highway.
On the same day, 23 people died while several others were injured in another accident along the Marigat-Loruk road in Tiaty, Baringo County.
The NTSA said in collaboration with traffic police they have mapped at least 15 “black spots” along major highways nationwide where motorists are warned to be careful during the festive season.
The authorities said they have beefed up patrol teams to curb rogue motorists.
Road accidents are common during festive season as thousands of people travel up country for holiday celebrations.
An estimated 3,000 Kenyans die in road accidents annually, according to the NTSA. Enditem