The driver to the late Nyeri Governor Dr Wahome Gakuru has opened up on the circumstances that led to a fatal road crash that claimed Gakuru's life.
Speaking to the Standard on his hospital bed on Wednesday, Samuel Kinyanjui narrated how the horror accident that occurred at Kabati area along Thika-Kenol highway unfolded.
Kinyanjui sustained minor injuries from the accident and is currently recuperating at Nairobi Hospital.
He recounts governor Gakuru shouting "God" moments before the crash happened and how he watched helplessly as the governor, trapped in the wreckage and groaning in pain for over 40 minutes seeking assistance.
"We were late but the governor told me not to speed because it was raining and the road was slippery. I was driving around a speed of between 105 and 110 kilometres per hour," he said.
However, hell broke loose when one of the rear tyres burst. "...but as I slowed down and was steering the vehicle to the side, I realised that a lorry which was behind me was approaching at a high speed. I had to swerve suddenly to avoid the lorry which was trying to overtake me," he recollected.
He said he deliberately directed the vehicle towards the guard rail, with hope that it would stop the car and walk out safe. This is after realizing a lorry trailing them from behind would hit their car if he stopped on the road.
"I thought if I hit the guard rail the car would stop. I feared that if the lorry hit me from the rear, it would push us into the middle of the road and cause a multiple cars accidents."
However, the impact of hitting the guardrail deflated his airbag, blocking his view. The impact made his foot push on the accelerator pedal, pushing the Mercedes E250 further into the guardrail.
“I don’t understand how the guard rail got into the car,” he said.
Kinyanjui was working at Nyeri County Referral Hospital before he was hired by the governor's office as a driver. He had only driven the county boss for two weeks.
“The seat was stuck, we tried even breaking the window so that we could get him out (governor),but we were only able to do that when a lorry stopped and gave us a rope that we used to tie to the seat and rip it off,” Kinyanjui recalled, adding that the Governor was seated at the front seat, and had to wait for 40 minutes to be rescued.
“I was doing about 105 and 110 and the governor was comfortable with the speed and told me to maintain it since it was raining,” he said.
The governor died while receiving treatment at the Thika Level 5 hospital.