How I survived death after my vehicle split into two in a grim road accident

The date 8th October 2022, still lingers in the head of Martin Kinyua, a matatu driver who hails from Kiirua- in Buuri sub-county, Meru County.

Martin was ferrying passengers on his last trip of the day from Nanyuki to Meru, after which he would go home and take a deserved rest in readiness for the next day. A plan he hoped he would see through.

This was not to be. As he descended a steep slope at Subuiga, near the Isiolo- Meru junction, a speeding bus hit the Matatu from behind with a thud. The impact split the vehicle into two, tossing the fragmented carnage into the air and landing some meters away from the road. Several passengers died on the spot but Martin survived by the skin of his teeth with minor injuries.

“I was on my way from Nanyuki to Meru, upon reaching the slope, a trailer was just in front of my vehicle and a lorry was oncoming. I had to wait to overtake. I was suddenly hit from behind and I completely lost control of the vehicle. It split, rolled in the air, and landed down. I found myself at Kiirua Mission Hospital”, Martin narrated his ordeal as best as his memory could recall.

“I consider myself the luckiest man in the world. Surviving such a deadly accident isn’t a normal thing. I pray every other time this dark memory runs into my mind”, he adds.

Nevertheless, Kinyua says social media images of the bus that hit his Matatu breaks his heart whenever he comes across one.

Before being reduced into a shell, the bus dubbed as ‘party on the wheel’ was fitted with a mini bar, DJ deck, screen monitors, a sound system, and comfortable lounge seats with ample dancing space, offering unlimited entertainment as patrons enjoyed the sceneries of the beautiful landscapes. Cans of beer were still scattered all over its floor when Martin saw the bus at Subuiga police station.

“I could not look at it twice. I cannot recollect what really happened but it was a miracle, God’s intervention,” Martin sums it up.

Martin is the luckiest guy indeed; few have survived such road crashes. The horror incident changed his life forever.

Martin says that Just like any other family head, he wakes up early and heads to town for a hustle.

Being a widower, Martin who is not permanently employed says he has no option but to wake up every day for the limited day-to-day driving jobs available as he doesn’t have a permanent one. He does this in order to afford to educate his two children; one is enrolled at a technical college and another in primary school.

“They look up to me for food, for their upkeep and education. I just can’t spend a single day in bed. Even when I am unwell, I can’t afford to miss that probable ‘squad’, for their sake”, he reveals.

However, just like thousands of Kenyans whose lives have been turned upside down by road carnage, he has traumatizing memories that will live to disturb him as they can’t afford to see a therapist.  

If sanity is to be found on our roads, relevant parties ought to take collaborative measures.

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