Survivors of the Fort Ternan bus crash that claimed more than 50 lives yesterday blamed the bus management and crew for what befell them.
Dickson Muyamba, a 30-yearold survivor of the grisly accident, said the ill-fated bus left Nairobi at midnight destined for Kakamega. He said the bus was initially scheduled to leave the city at around 6pm but was delayed until about 9.30pm.
“We left the Machakos terminus at around 9.30pm, but when we reached Kangemi, the bus made a U-turn back to town,” Muyamba said from his Kericho County Referral Hospital bed.
“The passengers got pissed off and when they demanded an explanation, the conductor said there were some more passengers to be picked from town.” He suf ered head and leg injuries.
He said that at the terminus, they exchanged three buses before they were finally moved to the ill-fated one.
“The bus was overloaded, forcing some passengers to sit on their luggage and soda crates, which were arranged for them on the aisle,” Muyamba said.
From Nairobi to Naivasha, Muyamba said the bus wasn’t speeding, but when they passed the Gilgil weighbridge, the driver started speeding.
“The bus driver and conductors were very rude.
They failed to heed our calls to slow down. The bus was being driven at high speed,” he added.
“I’m lucky to be alive because I was seated at the back. When the bus started rolling, I was thrown out of the window throw the rear windscreen.” Muyamba said he was travelling to his rural home in Vihiga for the burial of his mother that was slated for today.
The driver had stopped to allow passengers to relieve themselves less than a kilometre away from the accident scene, he said. “When the bus stopped, we alighted and relieved ourselves by the roadside. Barely a kilometre from there, the driver lost control of the bus and it veered off the road before rolling into the deep valley,” Muyamba said.
Linda Missee, another survivor, confirmed that the bus was overloaded and was being driven at high speed.
Most passengers who were sitting on their luggage and soda crates perished on the spot. Narrating the ordeal, Missee, 28, said she was lucky to have survived the accident. She said she had her seatbelt on.
“The bus was being driven dangerously and the driver and his conductors could hear none of our pleas to slow down. It swerved before veering off the road and rolled several times downhill,” she said.
Missee was in her sister’s company. She kept asking about her, but no information had been provided.
Dismas Makhokha, 59, from Butula, Busia county, said it was unbelievable that he survived such a grisly crash.
“It’s by God’s grace that I’m alive,” he said. He was expecting to be in Kakamega by 6am. He was to connect to Busia from the town. “Upon reaching the tunnel at about 4am, the driver started speeding in way I’ve never seen in my life. It seems the brakes failed before it started to roll down the slope,” Makhoha said.
He suffered head injuries.
The survivor said he struggled to crawl towards the road where a Good Samaritan rescued them.