Nine out of the ten people, who perished in a grisly road accident in Homa Bay on Monday, September 26, have been positively identified by their relatives.
The accident occurred at Ngegu Shopping centre along Homa Bay-Kendu Bay Road killing eight people on the spot while two others lost their lives while undergoing treatment at Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The accident involved a Nissan matatu vehicle from Homa Bay which collided head-on with an oncoming fuel tanker.
According to the County Director of Disaster Management Eliud Onyango, the identification process took place in the last three days and only one victim still remains unidentified.
He said a body of a male passenger still lies in the morgue unidentified and no one has come out to claim it.
"The families of the nine victims of the road accident which took place last week have been positively identified by their relatives and only one victim still remains unidentified," Onyango said.
At the same time, Onyango urged any family that might be missing their kin to visit the morgue and help in the identification of the body.
He added that among those who were involved in the accident some are residents of Homa Bay while some are from neighbouring counties.
The official also revealed that Homa Bay County Government through Governor Gladys Wanga has offered financial assistance to the affected families to help with burial arrangements.
Homa Bay students among victims
A class Seven pupil at Janeiro Junior Academy within Homa Bay and a Form Three student at Kobala Mixed Secondary School were among those who were killed in the accident.
Homa Bay County Police Commander Samson Ole Kinne attributed the accident to speeding and careless overtaking by the matatu driver who was trying to overtake another vehicle at a sharp corner.
According to National Police Service, Kenya recorded a total of 15,924 road accidents between January 1 and September 26, 2022.
Data released on Friday, September 30 indicates that 3,541 of the accident victims which represents 22.2 per cent died, 7,236 (45.4 per cent) were seriously injured and 5,147 (32.3 per cent) were slightly injured.
In that period, 1,269 pedestrians died. Of this, 941were motorcyclists, passengers were 634, drivers (324), pillion passengers (324) and pedal cyclists (49).
The 3,541 fatalities recorded between January 1 and September 26, 2022, is an increase compared to the same period in 2021.
Last year, in the same period, accident-related deaths were 3,286, which was 255 fewer deaths compared to 2022.
Police attribute the high number of road accidents to speeding, poorly maintained vehicles, human error, shunning seatbelts and overloading.
The National Police Service expressed concern that in the last week (September 18 to September 26), 145 people died in separate road accidents across the country.
To avert a further surge in the number of road accidents, police said they will work with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to conduct random inspections on public service vehicles, boda bodas and personal vehicles.
Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso said, in a statement on Friday, that they will focus on the drivers’ licenses, PSV route compliance, PSV badge, PSV inspection sticker, speed compliance, lane discipline and passengers’ use of seatbelts.
“Our roads can be unforgiving, and we have the responsibility to use them safely,” Shioso said.