When a group of men and women decided to travel for a burial at Mukurwe-ini in Nyeri county to bid farewell to a deceased relative of one of their own, they all left as a team.
The members of Kiboya self-help group in Ndaragwa, Nyandarua county however did not know that they would return without eight of their colleagues.
This is after one of the vehicles, a Nissan matatu they were travelling in rolled along Nyahururu-Nyeri road as they returned.
The driver lost control of the vehicle and veered of the road at Kianugu area near Ndaragwa trading centre.
Five people among them the driver and a child died on the spot while three others succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the Nyahururu County and Referral Hospital.
Several other victims are recuperating at the same hospital with serious injuries they sustained during the 7:30 pm.
The victims were travelling from Nyeri for a funeral of a relative to Patrick Maina but on reaching Kianugu area near Ndaragwa forest, the driver lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road.
Some of the survivors claimed the driver had on several occasions ignored calls to stop overspeeding in vain before the 14-seater matatu rolled several times killing four people on the spot.
According to one of the survivors Mr James Mathenge, the vehicle had 17 passengers on board despite the traffic regulations for it to carry 14 passengers.
“Some of the passengers had no vehicles to travel back from the burial and we had no option but to give them a lift. Little did they know that they would perish in the accident,” he noted.
Mathenge said that the passengers had been complaining to the driver not to over speed but he would hear none of them.
“We kept on complaining about the speed but he insisted that we were safe. The accident happened abruptly as we drove down the hill and it rolled,” he said.
The incident has left the entire Kiboya village in tears as they all hail from the same village.
Among the deceased is a minor.
This has left more questions than answers with leaders from the region demanding the government to take action against rogue drivers.
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni and several local leaders who visited the scene and the victims at the Nyahururu hospital regretted the accident and called on drivers to observe caution to avert such fatal accidents.
Kioni lamented that over the holidays no such incidents were reported in the area and regretted how it occurred at the beginning of the year.
“We demand action against such careless driving as per the preliminary reports. The government has to take action to end this killings,” he said.
Governor Francis Kimemia and Nyandarua woman MP Faith Gitau also demanded that the government makes sure that all vehicles adhere to traffic rules.
“It disheartening to see that innocent lives are being lost just because some people are doing their work. Action must be taken to make sure that this killings do not happen again. All vehicles must be fitted with speed governors as per the law,” said Kimemia.
“For how long will we keep on loosing such innocent lives? It is the high time that action is taken so that people can travel safely,” posed Ms Gitau.