How Ian, 12, offered to die together with his sister Precious, 9
Six students, including Ian Mwangi, 12, and his sister Precious Nyambura, 9, were heading home from school last Friday when a ‘wild’ matatu sped up towards them.
The mishap happened outside of Thika town, close to the Delview hotel.
Only the sibling and sister perished after the matatu struck all six students.
In what witnesses described as a courageous boy’s attempt to save his sister’s life, the two lost their lives.
“The vehicle had left the tarmac at the point where there are bumps. It headed straight for the young pupils. There were screams all over but I noted the boy jump clear of the approaching vehicle, pose for a moment to look back and then dive back into its way,” Mr Joram Ng’ethe, a witness, said.
“The boy had only just managed to hold his sister by the left hand and try to drag her away from the matatu’s furious speed when they were knocked off their feet and tossed in the air. They fell with a thud on the tarmac.”
According to the incident report at Gatanga police station, the vehicle’s driver had ferried mourners to a burial and was rushing back to Thika town’s main stage.
“In his hurry to beat the traffic jam, the driver, instead of slowing down, overlapped to avoid bumps, and in the process ploughed into the pupils who were walking on the pedestrians’ pathway,” the report says.
The siblings’ father, Mr John Kamande said that “all narrations from first-hand witnesses depict my son dying in an act of valour meant to save his sister”. He said the two were his pride and joy and that they were close.
“It is a big loss to me and my wife, who is yet to come to terms with it. We are in agreement that we need to dedicate our family to God since our firstborn son died in a road accident in 2018, aged 15, and now our second and third-born children have suffered the same fate (aged 12 and 9, respectively),” he said.
Mr Kamande said they are now afraid for their last-born daughter, who is only two and a half years old.
“God, we need you now more than ever. This jinx of road accidents claiming our children’s lives … it is scary,” he said in prayer.
“But God knows why and while we will continue praying that we are delivered from this yoke of death, we remain content that the Almighty Lord’s good plans for us are intact.”
The family plans to bury Ian and Precious in the same grave but in different caskets, following a ceremony at Ikuyu village in Maragua constituency on March 14.
“Though sad and painful, it is the only option available,” their father said.