In Summary
  • Yvonne had barely sat than her friend yelled out, ‘Yvonne, run!’ “I reached back to grab my bags but when I turned back around, there was a man in front of the car holding a gun.
  • I opened my car door to run out, but another man ran towards me held a cold piece of metal to the back of my waist. I couldn’t tell if it was a gun or not, but I froze and dropped my bags,” says Yvonne.

Three people who escaped a robbery at gunpoint, a carjacking and a car accident tell us how they survived:

I survived a nasty car accident - Daniel Okiror, 33

On May 3, 2015, Daniel Okiror, his wife and daughter were travelling to Nairobi from Mombasa by road.

The culmination of their journey was intended to be Jinja in Uganda, but fate had different plans.

Seated in the back seat of a saloon car, they had had an uneventful journey from Mombasa – until they got to the roundabout just before Mlolongo.

Suddenly, they heard a big bang issue from the left backside of the vehicle.

The next minute, all the car passenger were violently rocking from side to side.

“It turns we had been hit by a minivan,” Daniel remembers.

“The impact caused our car to overturn. Onlookers said that we turned three times and landed in a ditch but inside the car, I didn’t know that the car was overturning. I just felt the movements. I felt helpless in that moment. My thoughts went to my family and I wished I could do something to keep them from getting hurt. I tried holding them but I couldn’t see anything after the car stopped,” he adds.

The public moved in to help the stranded victims get out of the car that stood on its crushed wheels.

“We had worn our seat belts so none of us was hurt. I was helped out through the shattered back window. I then also helped to get the others out.”

Because Daniel and his family were in shock, he decided to get them other means to leave the scene – and the crowd that had gathered.

In the process, he found out that the driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol, which might have impaired his judgement.

Three days later, after they arrived in Jinja, Daniel started having really bad headaches.

A doctor’s exam revealed that his brain had been excessively rocked during the accident, and prescribed medication and rest to help stabilise the condition. However, Daniel and his family remained relatively unscathed.

“Looking back, if we had not worn our seat belts, the car would have crushed me. Do not ignore those little rules; they will save your life,” says Daniel.

 

 

I survived a carjacking - Yvonne Rajula, 36

It was a Saturday evening in January 2007. Yvonne Rajula was looking forward to going out for some music and dancing, and had had a friend drop her off at her house on Muchai Drive in Ngummo, Nairobi to change into some party clothes.

They had bought some pizza and a soda at the kiosk next to her house to eat before heading out.

“After the food and drink, I packed a change of clothes and my purse in a paper bag,” Yvonne remembers.

And then they exited her house and headed back to her friend’s car, which was parked on the kerb just next to Muchai Drive.

While Yvonne went to return the soda bottle to the shop and claim her deposit for it, her friend moved his car – and hit something, most likely the kerb. “I came back and we stood together, looking to see how much damage had been done to the car. Then we both got in the car and I put my bags in the backseat.”

Yvonne had barely sat than her friend yelled out, ‘Yvonne, run!’ “I reached back to grab my bags but when I turned back around, there was a man in front of the car holding a gun. I opened my car door to run out, but another man ran towards me held a cold piece of metal to the back of my waist. I couldn’t tell if it was a gun or not, but I froze and dropped my bags,” says Yvonne.

The man with the gun moved on Yvonne’s friend, trying to get him in the car, but he was unsuccessful – even after he was joined by a third assailant. In the commotion, the driver threw the car keys away.

One of the gangsters went for the keys and they drove off with Yvonne in the front passenger seat.

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