More than 25 people were killed and several others injured when a truck hit about a dozen passenger vehicles along the busy Nakuru-Eldoret highway in northwest Kenya. Picture: Xinhua/Fred Mutune

Johannesburg – Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is defending itself against attacks of incompetency following the death of 40 people in road accidents within the last 24 hours, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Wednesday.

Sixteen of the dead perished in road accidents at the Sachang’wan black spot on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway Tuesday morning while 64 injured were rushed to various hospitals.

A further 19 people were killed in a multiple-car accident in Bungoma County on Monday, while four lost their lives in Machakos County on the same day.

One of Tuesday’s accidents happened right under the noses of an NTSA crew, which witnesses said was in pursuit of a truck ferrying logs from the Congo towards Nakaru.

The accident could have been avoided critics claim, but NTSA director-general Francis Meja denied the assertion. He said the NTSA vehicle was parked 500 metres away from the accident spot.

Meja added that his officers, who were doing patrols on the Salgaa-Sachang’wan stretch, only spotted the truck speeding past them and opted to follow it after by-standers raised the alarm.

“It is then that the team dispatched the driver with one officer to warn motorists to clear the way. We had our strobe lights and sirens on,” said Meja.

“Unfortunately, the driver of the truck could not negotiate a corner, and thus rammed oncoming vehicles.”

This version of events was challenged by Ayub Kinyanjui, a Great Rift Valley shuttle driver, who survived the accident. Kinyanjui said he saw an NTSA vehicle chasing the truck before the accident occurred.

“The driver appeared to engage the brakes but the truck swerved and hit the Modern Coast bus.”