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Several students among scores injured as Joy Kenya bus ‘somersaults’ in Thika.

A police officer attempts to clear curious onlookers who had flocked the scene of accident.

Several people who included students who were reporting back to school for third term sustained minor injuries after the  bus they were travelling in rolled several times at the Kenyatta Highway roundabout near Bonjour Total Petrol Station in Thika on Wednesday afternoon.

According to eyewitness report, the accident happened at around 1:40pm as the bus belonging to Joy Kenya Bus Limited was heading towards Thika town.

Those who spoke to Thika Town Today said that the bus rolled under unclear circumstances occasioning injuries to the occupants since according to them, it could not be described as a case of overspeeding.

While narrating the ordeal to the traffic police officer who was at the scene, a visibly shaken driver said that as he approached National Bank area, he realised that the brakes had failed occasioning him to try everything possible to avoid crashing onto a few vehicles that were ahead of him.

“When I realised that the brakes had failed, I swerved the bus to the sides to avoid crashing onto some vehicles that were ahead of me. As a result of the impact of hitting the pavement, the bus overturned and rolled several times before landing upside down across the road,” he said.

According to him, the bus was almost full to capacity at the time of the accident.
Those who were near the scene, they heard a loud bang and immediately rushed to assist those who were in the bus.

“Majority of them just sustained minor cuts and bruises, with a few with suspected to have sustained internal injuries. We helped them get out through the rear windscreen and assisted them to get to Thika Level 5 Hospital for checkup,” explained one of the witnesses.

Sources close to the hospital indicated that they received about 14 casualties with several of the students said to have vanished in the thin air.

“Some of the students who were inside the bus just got out and ran helter-skelter towards the town centre. Unfortunately, we cannot tell anything about their condition,” he added.

Some of the people we talked to faulted the beautification programme along the highway saying that the raised pavement obstructed drivers especially those driving small cars from seeing vehicles joining the roundabout from the town centre.

“One of the reasons why vehicles jam here (at the roundabout) is because this pavement blocks the view of motorists driving small cars from seeing vehicles getting onto the roundabout from town. This forces them to slow down until the reach the roundabout and can see all the way through to town,” explained a tuktuk driver.

A matatu owner who did not want to be named blamed the frequent accidents by PSV vehicles on some rogue drivers.

“I fully blame some of these accidents on our drivers. It is very easy for a driver who messes around in one Sacco to get employment in another since matatu operators never make any efforts to dig into their history. This creates some impunity among matatu crew who are guaranteed of employment elsewhere, leaving the vehicle owners with burden of the mess they (drivers) have created,” said the matatu operator.

He suggested that time was ripe the matatu industry came up with a data of all their crew in order to make available, all the information regarding to their crew regardless from which Sacco they belonged to.

As we were going to press, the driver of the bus was locked up at Thika Police Station on charges of careless driving.

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