A road trip for seven university students to attend a colleague’s birthday party in Kisii ended in tragedy after all but one perished in a grisly road accident that claimed eight lives.
Five students of Kenyatta University’s main campus in Nairobi and their friend from Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, left the city for Kisii County on Friday for the party in Magena village —before their lives were cut short along the Kisii-Kilgoris road.
They were travelling in a Toyota Noah, which had a capacity of eight people, including its owner, when they were involved in the 8pm accident with two other vehicles — a canter and a saloon car. Another car had ferried more friends and their host ahead of them.
Duncan Nyanaro, a Civil Engineering student at Dedan Kimathi University, was reportedly driving the car at the time of the accident. The owner of the vehicle ferrying the students had allegedly driven from Nairobi but allowed Nyanaro to take over about 30km from Kisii town. He was among the eight people who died. Mercy Nyambeki, a student, survived and was admitted to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The driver of the saloon car, a mechanic at Kenyenya, only identified as Juma was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The driver of the truck and his passenger were admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Of the five Kenyatta University students, two were sisters.
However, an authoritative source from Kenyatta University said: “Three of the girls were from KU (Kenyatta University). They include Mary Wanjiru Maina, two sisters Vinnah Isoe and Felany Isoe. Another survivor Mercy Nyambeki is also our student. They are understood to have been going to attend a graduation party in a private vehicle. This was their own private arrangement. That is what we know so far.
It’s a tragic thing, we are mourning them as we try to gather more details.” Vinnah and Felany’s mother, only identified as Rachel, a teacher at Kisii Primary School, learnt of the tragic loss yesterday morning through a picture that was widely circulated in the social media.
Two other students who succumbed were identified as Dorothy Nyakerario and Pauline Nyanchama. The other student had not been identified by the time of going to press. Nyanaro’s mother, Mrs Arnest Mwango, said her husband, Evans Mambolea, had called his son before the accident.
The son, allegedly, assured the father that he was safe in campus. “His father had just had a phone conversation with him telling him he was doing well in the university. We were shocked to learn that our son had died in the accident. We saw the photos in the social media and it is his sister who broke the news,” said a tearful Mrs Mwango.
Nyanaro scored an A plain from Maranda High school in 2014 and was admitted to Dedan Kimathi University in 2015. He is the first born and an only son in their family. The bodies of the deceased students lay in a pool of blood as some of the parents who had just arrived at the scene of the accident tried to come into terms with the painful loss.
Nyambeki who survived the accident yesterday complained of chest pain and had bruises on her neck and hands. The hospital Chief Executive Officer Enock Ondari said the student and the two others who were admitted were in a stable condition.