Woman dies after car plunges into ocean, son swims to safety

Thursday, December 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Rescuers pull out wreckage of a car that plunged into the Indian Ocean at Kibarani area along the Makupa Causeway in Mombasa, yesterday. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu

A 33-year-old woman died  yesterday morning after  her car veered off the Makupa Causeway in Kibarani, Mombasa and plunged into the Indian Ocean .

The woman,  identified as Winnie Achieng, was in the car with her  12-year-old son, Gift Otieno, who escaped unhurt  and swam to safety.  

Gift said as they approached the Kibarani area, his mother was struggling to apply the brakes but they failed.

“I could see the vehicle was going to roll as my mother struggled with the breaks.

Eventually we plunged into the ocean. I removed the seat belt and opened the door and managed to swim away,” explained Otieno, who said he learned swimming at the beach.

Witnesses said  the deceased was driving  from Changamwe towards the Island when the incident happened.

“It flew over the pavement and plunged into the ocean like an arrow. When I moved closer, I saw a boy swimming away from the vehicle while calling for help, saying his mother was still trapped inside the car,” said Musa Mwachiluba, a witness.

His father, Nahashon Otieno said it was by grace of God that his son survived. 

“I thank God he is alive. It is a miracle but unfortunately the mother is no more,” he said.

The deceased’s sister, Beatrice Odundo said she received a call from a strange number and on picking it, realised it was her nephew Gift informing her of the accident.

“Gift asked me to rush to Kibarani as his mother was stuck in the car. Shortly afterwards, the number called again and a stranger said that my sister  was involved in an accident.

When I enquired about her condition I was told she was no more,” Odundo said.

Conforming the incident, Coast Traffic police boss Peter Maina, said the woman was pronounced dead on arrival at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.

She was rushed  to the facility after the  car was pulled out by local volunteer divers.

According to Maina, the vehicle which was speeding towards Makupa from Changamwe area was in the process of overtaking another  car when the accident occurred.

“She was overtaking but could have lost control of the car, which drifted on the extreme left and above the cement barrier before plunging into the ocean.

It took intervention of local volunteer divers to rescue her before she was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead,” Maina explained.

The car was also retrieved shortly afterwards with the aid of a crane.

Incident rekindled memories of similar incident that occurred  on September 29, 2019 at the Likoni Ferry crossing channel in which Mariam Kighenda and her four year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu died after their car plunged into the sea.

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