The lives of five persons were abruptly brought to an end through an accident which occurred when a big tree fell on a matatu going to Nakuru and a motorbike close to Kianda school, Kangemi area in Nairobi.
The incident, which happened on Wednesday evening, also inflicted injuries on eight other passengers who were immediately taken to Kikuyu hospital and are currently on admission in the hospital.
According to the Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome, in a phone conversation with the Star on Thursday, the tree was old and as a result had loose roots.
The accident which occurred at 6.30pm was caused by the huge tree which was aged and whose roots had become weak.
Four of the victims in the matatu, and the driver of the motorbike, died on the scene as reported by the police and confirmed by witnesses.
A crowd moved around in a confused mass as rescue efforts were going on, thereby causing a heavy traffic jam on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway before more police eventually came and cleared the accident scene.
Mohamed Rashid, Dagoretti OCPD, pointed out that the deaths and injuries recorded were so because of the huge size of the tree.
Fire department workers were deployed to the accident scene to trim and remove the tree while the crashed matatu was towed to the police station.
Mr. Mohamed implored officials to check the state of trees close to the roads for the purpose of public security. As he said,
Such trees sometimes fall and block roads whenever it rains and it is important that relevant authorities check on their status as part of efforts to ensure we are safe.
The number of people who continue to loose their lives on the road has become very disheartening despite the efforts of the National Transport and Safety Authority, NTSA, to curb the menace.
Just last year, it was reported that the number of deaths on the road reduced by 9.7 percent but with the way things are going this year, it looks like road deaths are going to be increased by more than the said percentage. We pray not though!
NTSA Director General Francis Meja said last year that the authority will go ahead to enforce measures that will help reduce road accidents.
We will continue monitoring major highways especially now that many are travelling back from the countryside. We will continue to have speed guns as well as breathalysers on our roads.
Should these measures not be extended to monitoring the condition of trees that are close to the roads?
It is estimated that 3,000 people die annually through road accidents and thus far in 2016, over 60 persons have been killed in crashes involving public service vehicles.
About 11 people have died in road accidents only this February, this includes three deaths brought about by motorists who were alleged to have been dodging Officials of the NTSA along Thika Superhighway.
Also, four people died on Tuesday while nine were injured when a bus got involved on a head-on collision with an oncoming matatu at a location said to be a black spot on the Naivasha-Nakuru Highway.
Many people have lost their lives consequent to reckless driving and some other reasons. Some others have not only ended their lives but also the lives of innocent citizens yet it seems as though nothing is being done about it.
Can you imagine what will happen if this continues unchecked?