Preliminary investigations have established that free-wheeling could have been the cause of a road accident that claimed 10 lives on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway on Tuesday evening.
County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo said inquiries by the police, National Transport Safety Authority and Kenya National Highways Authority, had revealed that the driver of the trailer resorted to free-wheeling (where you engage the neutral gear to save fuel) while hurtling down a slope at high speed and lost control of the vehicle.
Mwanzo said the trailer that was heading to Nakuru veered off the road and collided with a matatu that was heading to Kapsabet.
“The Kapsabet- bound matatu lost control and collided with a matatu that was heading to Bomet,” he explained.
He was speaking when he and other officials, including County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo, visited the scene.
He said 16 people sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Nakuru Level Five Hospital where they are receiving treatment.
Mwanzo said free-wheeling was a major cause of accidents at the Ngata Bridge-Sobea-Molo-Sachangwan-Salgaa black spots.
The dead include the drivers of the two PSVs.
The trailer driver escaped unhurt.
The police boss put on notice reckless truck drivers warning that they risk having their licenses revoked, while those from neighboring countries would be banned from driving on Kenyan roads.
Observing that human error is the biggest contributor to road accidents, the police boss said traffic police had launched a crackdown on major roads and highways to ensure safety.
Also targeted are unroadworthy vehicles and private cars operating as public service vehicles.
He warned that unlicensed operators seeking to cash in on the Christmas season travel will be arrested.