Tragedy avoided on black spot by clever driver with 38 students, 10 teachers on board

Itoleka Girls bus that the driver crashed on an incline to avoid plunging into the river below.

Tragedy was sidestepped by a quick-witted driver at the notorious black spot at Nithi Bridge in Tharaka Nithi County, the 38 students and 10 teachers escaping death by a whisker as he crashed the bus on the opposite hill to avoid plunging into the river.

The students and teachers from Itoleka Girls in Kitui County were going back to school after participating in the ongoing Eastern Region Drama Festivals at Meru School in Meru County.

The bus was descending the sloppy, long and winding Nithi bridge road when the brakes failed at the black spot, forcing the driver to swerve and crash it against the facing hill.

That quick and witty decision saved the lives of those onboard as the river down below would have been their unfortunate stop.

The driver, Nicholas Muthoka, said the bus experienced a brake system failure while descending, forcing him to swerve and crash it against the meanders before in time before the bridge.

“We were travelling from Meru School in Meru County after participating in the ongoing Eastern Region Drama Festivals with 38 students and 10 teachers on board. The bus experienced a brake failure while descending the slope and I decided that it was better to veer off the sloppy descent and crash the bus before the bridge. It would probably be fatal if it plunged at the notorious river. It was scary,” he narrated.

Those who sustained minor injuries were rushed to Muthambi Sub-county and Chuka County Referral Hospital for treatment.

The accident comes barely days after the process to re-engineer the killer bridge officially kicked off following a consultative meeting between the County Government of Tharaka Nithi and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

Since its construction in 1983, the Nithi Bridge has been associated with numerous fatal accidents primarily attributed to its poor design featuring a downward approach and sharp curves.

KeNHA has stressed the imperative need for redesigning the bridge to mitigate these accidents.

Spanning 50 metres, the bridge has been labelled a black spot due to the steep terrain between Marima and Mitheru markets, which are 3 kilometres apart, and its sharp curves coupled with limited visibility.

Several measures for consideration include redirecting the road by upgrading the Old Marima Road to bitumen standard, constructing a new bridge, and reconfiguring the current one to eliminate hazardous curves.

During the 2022 election campaigns, President William Ruto pledged to re-engineer the bridge within the first six months of assuming office following a tragic accident involving a Modern Coast bus on July 24, 2022, which claimed 36 lives and injured 9 others.

Previous major accidents on the bridge occurred in August 2000, resulting in 45 fatalities and 27 injuries, and in 1998, an accident killed 56 people aboard a Stage Coach bus.


KNEC releases 2024 national examinations timetable

Meanwhile, two people died when Kapsabet Boys High School bus was involved in an accident. We shall give you the details when the facts are counter-checked. The bus was ferrying Geography students on a tour to Baringo.

Kapsabet Boys High School bus rolled and killed two people.

By John Majau

Get more stories from our website: Education News 

To write to us or offer feedback, you can reach us at:

You can also follow our social media pages on Twitter: Education News KE  and Facebook: Education News Newspaper for timely updates.

>>> Click here to stay up-to-date with trending regional stories

Sharing is Caring!
Don`t copy text!