Man gets 6 years in jail for causing death of 11 passengers


Accident Matatu
File image of a matatu in an accident

In Summary

  • Appearing before Eldama Ravine Senior Principal Magistrate John Tamara, Francis Karanja Mwangi was imprisoned without an option of fine for causing the death of 11 passengers.
  • He was further handed a six-month jail term for reckless driving contrary to section  47(1) of the Traffic Act.
  • The accident occurred on April 17, 2014 at Kwa Hannah area along Eldoret-Nakuru-Nairobi highway at around 6.30am.

A man in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County was on Thursday sentenced to six years in prison for causing the death of 11 passengers by dangerous driving.

Appearing before Eldama Ravine Senior Principal Magistrate John Tamara, Francis Karanja Mwangi was imprisoned without an option of fine for causing the death of 11 passengers.

He was further handed a six-month jail term for reckless driving contrary to section  47(1) of the Traffic Act.

The accident occurred on April 17, 2014 at Kwa Hannah area along Eldoret-Nakuru-Nairobi highway at around 6.30am.

According to court documents, Mr. Karanja, who was ferrying metal bars in a lorry, recklessly tried to overtake, causing the accident that claimed the lives of 11 passengers who were travelling in a North Rift Sacco matatu.

“The investigating officer testified that the scene was a sharp and blind corner. That there was a continuous yellow line meaning no vehicle was to overtake. The accused confirmed to have been carrying metal bars and as such the vehicle was heavy and it would be difficult to apply emergency brakes,” noted the judge.

“As per evidence above summarised, any competent driver (and in considering that it was still dark and misty) would have been expected to be extra careful.”

Magistrate Tamara further suspended Karanja’s driving license for a period of 3 years after finishing his six-year sentence.

The prosecution presented up to 20 witnesses in the case. The accused was granted 14 days to appeal.

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Story By William Sawe
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