• May 19, 2024
  • Last Update May 19, 2024 2:13 PM
  • Nairobi

Prominent Kenyans killed by accidents in 2024


By Peter Ochieng

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) figures on the number of people who have been killed in road accidents this year paint a very sad picture.

NTSA says as at April 10, 1,214 lives had been lost in road crashes across the country, leaving husbands, wives, parents, children and families in despair.

With fatalities increasing with about 5% compared to a similar period in 2023, NTSA Deputy Director, Safety, Audit and Inspection Eng Christine Ogut said the figures indicated a sad state of affairs.

She said unless tangible measures are put in place to arrest the situation, the number may soon surpass the total of the people who died in accidents across the country in 2023, baring in mind that we are still in the 4th month of the year.

In 2023, 3,609 people lost their lives in road accidents while in 2022 at least 4,690 people died on Kenyan roads. The road crashes have claimed the lives of some prominent Kenyans this year. Let us have a look:

1. Dickens Wasonga

Until his demise on Friday, January 26, 2024, Wasonga was The Star Newspaper journalist.

He was among the Paper’s three correspondents based in Kisumu, alongside Faith Matete and Maurice Alal.

He died on the spot following a road accident that occurred at the Mamboleo flyover, along the Kisumu-Kakamega road. He was driving his car from town to his house in Mamboleo, at the time of the accident.

Nyanza Regional Traffic Officer Allan Mwangi said the late Wasonga rammed a moving trailer. Both vehicles were heading in the same direction at the time of the crash.

That morning, he was scheduled to meet ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo at a Kisumu hotel, in his capacity as Kisumu Journalists’ Network (KJN) chairman.

“Dickens was a very easy-going person, a team player, forthright and very cooperative and exhibited a lot of professionalism in everything that he did. As an industry we have lost a very integral member of the family,” said the CS.

Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o in his condolence message said it was sad that he died only two months after being elected KJN chairman.

“Wasonga’s death in a ghastly road crash in Mamboleo this morning is devastating and a big blow to the media fraternity in Kenya. It comes just two months after Mr Wasonga was elected as the Chairman of the Kisumu Journalists Network. He was just settling down on the job,” he said.

Wasonga was buried in Central Sakwa, Siaya county on February 09. He is survived by a wife and two children.

2. Kelvin Kiptum

The death of Marathon world record holder at the tender age of 24 shocked the entire globe.

Kiptum who set the world record of 2:00:35 at the 2023 Chicago Marathon, in 2023, died alongside his Rwandese coach on Sunday 11 February, through a tragic road accident in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

The tragic news sent shockwaves around the athletics world with tributes pouring in from across the globe.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation. An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” he added.

“Kiptum’s mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future,” said President William Ruto.

Ruto’s administration build a house for Kiptum in a matter of days before his burial. The fallen marathoner had trained his eyes on running the marathon in under 2 hours. He wanted to do that during the Rotterdam Marathon, which went down in the Netherlands yesterday.

    Speaking during Kiptum’s funeral service on February, 23, 2023, his wife Asenath Rotich said they were planning for their wedding, which was set for April, 2024.

    She said though they had their plans, God’s plans were supreme.

    “We have been planning for our big day to tie the knot in a colourful wedding ceremony in April 2024, but God’s plans are greater,” she said amid tears.

    3. Brian Chira

    His death is perhaps still fresh in the minds of Kenyans.

    According to a police report filed at the Karuri Traffic Base, the late TikTolk star was a victim of a hit-and-run accident that occurred along the Ndenderu-Ruaka road at Gacharage area, on Saturday, March 16, 2024.

    It was reported that Chira was going home after a night out at a popular joint in Gacharage, when the incident happened.

    He had reportedly been kicked out of the joint by security guards for causing disturbance.

    He then boarded a motorcycle, and upon reaching the Gacharage roundabout, he asked the motorcycle rider identified as Abdul Charo to drop him home.

    Chira then, allegedly alighted from the motorcycle and ran towards the main road, where he was hit by a canter. The driver sped away. He died aged 23.

    The Tiktoker was a total orphan, having been brought up by his grandmother, with his fans raising over Sh5 million to cater for his funeral.

    He had amassed a following of more than 400,000 in little over a year. His fans, known as the “Chira Clan” attended his funeral in droves, on March 31.

    Reports suggested that over 5,000 of them atrended the burial.

    “These were just random TikTokers, no-one really mobilised them. We actually thought they were attending another burial in the neighbourhood,” Chira’s friend Faustine Lukale said.

    He said they had to quickly organise more tents and seats for the huge number of mourners.

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