Friday, May 1, 2020

Engineer dies after car skids off bridge, plunges into river; body found meters from accident scene

A middle-aged man died on Wednesday night after the vehicle he was driving plunged into Kotoruk River on the Makutano-Kapkoris Road in Kapenguria Town, West Pokot County, Kenya.

Sammy Ruto’s body was discovered in the watercourse Thursday morning meters from the spot his mangled car, a Subaru Forester, had stuck.

Kapenguria Town experienced heavy rainfall and flooding events on Wednesday evening.

Ruto, an engineer, was heading to Makutano Township from Kapkoris, when the incident happened at 9:30pm, Kapenguria OCPD, Julius Kyumbule, told K24 Digital.

“The vehicle, a Subaru Forester of registration plate KCM 290L, careened off the road, and plunged into the river. It was, thereafter, swept 200 meters from the bridge,” said Kyumbule.

K24 Digital understands that the bridge constructed over Kotoruk River does not have railings or barriers to protect motorists from hurtling into the watercourse.

“We suspect the victim pushed the car door open, and got out of the vehicle in an attempt to save his life. He was, however, overpowered by the raging waters, which swept him several meters from the car. He, most likely, died from drowning,” said Kyumbule.

The Kapenguria police boss said they are yet to establish where — exactly — Ruto was coming from at 9:30pm; two-and-a-half hours past the curfew cut-off time of 7pm.
A Kapenguria resident, Rofina Mengich, urged the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) to install bridge rails over Kotoruk River so as to avert cases of vehicles plunging into the waterway.

Ruto’s body was taken to Kapenguria County Referral Hospital morgue. His wife, who arrived at the scene early Thursday, collapsed upon learning that her spouse had died. She was rushed to a nearby medical facility for emergency care.

Ruto, said to be aged between 35 and 40 years old, is survived by the wife and their three children.

The Nairobi-based telecoms engineer had visited his rural home in Kapenguria with his family, when he met his death.

Floods have, of late, been wreaking havoc in parts of West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties.

Just over one week ago, flash floods and mudslides in Chesegon area on the border of Elgeyo-Marakwet and West Pokot counties left at least eight people dead and tens of families displaced.

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