In Summary
  • The bus overturned several times killing a few people and injuring scores others.
  • Hundreds of Kenyans have lost their lives in road accidents caused by careless driving, and thousands of others sustained serious injuries which incapacitate them.
  • The 36-year-old recalled crying uncontrollably as her leg was trapped under the bus.
  • The driver, upon realising he had caused an accident, jumped out of the vehicle and fled, leaving her leg still trapped under the vehicle’s enormous weight.

Purity Karimi woke up one morning for her routine trip to the market. A vegetable vendor, she frequented Wakulima Market for stock which she sold at her grocery in Nairobi’s Umoja estate.

After successfully going about that day’s bargains, she put the vegetables in a basket, carried it on her back and walked to the bus stop for an Umoja-bound matatu.

It was while at Nasiko, the bus stop between Muthurwa and Machakos Country Bus, that the mother of four met a grisly road accident that left with an amputated leg and in crutches.

“A matatu pulled up. It was some few minutes past seven in the morning,” Ms Karimi recounted. “The matatu tout took my luggage into the bus. But, as I was trying to board the matatu, the driver began to drive off pushing me on the road and its back wheel ran over my leg.”

The 36-year-old recalled crying uncontrollably as her leg was trapped under the bus. The driver, upon realising he had caused an accident, jumped out of the vehicle and fled, leaving her leg still trapped under the vehicle’s enormous weight.

AMBULANCE CHASER

It took a passerby to get into the driver’s seat and move the car. She was then taken to Kenyatta National Hospital by other Good Samaritans.
Her sister reported the case to the police where she was issued with an abstract – the document she is now using to chase an elusive insurance compensation.

While at the hospital, Ms Karimi encountered an “ambulance chaser” – a lawyer who goes to accident wards or accident scenes looking for clients – who agreed to represent her in court with a surety she will pay the legal fees once compensated.

But four years later the case is still in court and she only hopes that one day justice will smile her way.

“I stayed in hospital for six months where the bill accumulated to Sh300,000, part of which was cleared by church members, and now there is still an outstanding bill of Sh238,000,” she told the Nation.

“My leg was later amputated at Aga Khan Hospital in September 2016. That bill was also settled by sympathisers. Now I’m back to my business to fend for my children,” she said, adding that her husband left home never to return after he heard that she was involved in an accident.

APOLOGISE

What saddens her is that neither the matatu Sacco nor the matatu owner has ever bothered to look for her and apologise for the pain and humiliation. Police records show that the woman was knocked by Ummoinner matatu, registration number KBQ 783J in May 2013.

Ms Beatrice Omondi, another road accident victim, was travelling to Kakamega on Easy Coach on September 10, 2011.

The bus overturned several times killing a few people and injuring scores others.

“The accident occurred along the Nandi Hills–Songhor road at 2am after the driver lost control of the bus. Most of us were asleep only to be woken up by unusual commotion in the bus. After that, I felt numbness as I tried to lift my legs,” recalled Ms Omondi who spent more than Sh8 million in hospital, a bill which exhausted her family’s resources forcing them to relocate back to the village in Siaya.

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