I have talked about accidents being the worst nightmare for matatu workers; but I guess many people who read this blog perhaps have no idea how some of this accidents happen and what became of the victims. Majority of kenyans only comes to hear about the said accidents; in the 9oclock news. And many are quick to conclude that the matatu driver/s was probably speeding or overtaking or knocked down an innocent pedestrian.
Allow me to tell you what eye witnesses said about the following accident.
On a bright day early this year, this truck was in a good shape with all the headlights and windscreen. It was loaded with tones of sand as it drove through Ongata Rongai Township. The driver was probably in very high spirit as he had already found a client for his commodity. This is one truck that has earned its respect on the tarmac and calved a name for its self. It is locally known as MOMO.
On that fateful day the MoMo driver picked up speed as he passed a group of matatu drivers who hang around Uchumi supermarket Masai shopping mall; hoping to get squads from their fellow drivers who are fortunate enough to be employed.
The truck increased speed further as it drove down the small hill on the way to Nairobi from Rongai. Unfortunately for the truck driver; there was some kind of traffic jam on Maasai Rd junction, less than a kilometer from the town; all the cars in front of him had their brakes light on; completely at stop. I guess he went for the brakes but the distance was too close to stop without colliding with the matatu, the last in the jam. There was a factory track transporting mineral water on the opposite road; he could not go for a head on collusion.
The matatu ahead was to light to withhold the track and it would be more fatal if he hit it straight from behind. I gray saloon car was causing the snarl-up as it tried to enter the junction. He was running out of time and had to think fast; he decided to hit the matatu from the side and push it out of the way.
It worked and the matatu was turned 360 degrees but not without injuring most of the passengers in the back seat and even the conductor. The poor guy who had woken up very early to earn his bread broke some sensitive bones in his body and was admitted at Kenyatta hospital for several months. Today, he begs for hands-out at kware stage. his leg did not heal and he walks with the assistance of two wooden crutches.
The gray saloon car was not lucky either as the track got to it before it could make the turn and went over it. The driver was lucky to get out of the wreckage still alive. The front wheels of the truck went over the car like it was just a bump and went further down; the rear wheels flattened the boot of the salon car and left it spinning on the middle of the road.
It was not the same story with the few passengers of the next car the truck approached. By the time I took these pictures; all the victims of this accident were already in hospitals and I established from the traffic police a report that nobody died in the accident.
The truck went ahead and collided with two other matatus before hitting the mineral water; factory truck. I guess the impact with the truck help the driver to finally control the heavy machine to a stop. All the vehicles were towed to the police station and the responsible driver taken to court.