The death of my wife and kids has crushed my life

Juma lost his wife, daughter aand son in the accident [Photo: Courtesy]

The events of that fateful day will forever be etched in my memory. The day was January 5, a Thursday to be precise.

My wife Rebecca and I woke up earlier than usual – she needed to take the children for shopping in preparation for school re-opening.

The morning was quiet, the sky slowly giving way to the sun – it did not betray the slightest hint of the tragedy that awaited my beautiful family.

Our eldest daughter, Cindy Joyce Juma, 12, was supposed to join Standard Six at Ebenezer Academy Boarding School in Ahero.

She had just passed her interview and was to join the school the following day. The whole family was elated. Rebecca left the house a few minutes after 6am.

I remained in the house as I prepared to leave for work at the Kisumu County Health Department where I work as a pharmaceutical technologist based at Katito.

I bid her and the children goodbye, but little did I know this was the last time I would see my dear wife, my lovely daughter Cindy and her younger brother, two-year-old Rodney Juma, alive.

As I prepared to leave the house, I received this disturbing call. The person on the other end said something about an accident at Daima on Katito-Pap Onditi Road.

My family had been involved in the accident. I was startled. I couldn’t think straight. My mind went blank. I was lost for words.

 I left the house in a huff and headed to the scene, some 10 minutes away. My gut feeling told me that all was not well with Rebecca and our children.

I arrived at the scene shortly after. I saw a huge crowd gathered at the spot. I could tell from the commotion that this was no ordinary accident.

People were wailing as some struggled to pull bodies from the wreckage.

I threw a quick glance at the remains of the 14-seater van and saw bodies squeezed and hanging from the wreck.

It was then that I spotted my wife Rebecca. She lay still, on the ground. My world crushed. I felt empty and confused.

 I tried to examine her keenly, only to confirm my worst fear – she was dead. I went through the bodies to find out what had happened to my children.

It was then that I learnt that my daughter Cindy and son Rodney had also died. It was too much to bear.

My two other children, John Juma, 14, and Ivy Sheryl five, however survived and were rushed to Nyabondo Mission Hospital. They are still admitted to the hospital.

The matatu travelling from Sirare to Kisumu is alleged to have been speeding – and it had excess passengers at the time of the accident.

The matatu is said to have veered off the road and hit a culvert, killing eleven passengers on the spot.

I am still young, just 36 years old, but my life will never be the same again. My wife was a strong woman.

She went to work, took care of the family and still managed to operate a retail shop. It is sad how many Kenyans lose their lives on the roads.

I wish the government will hasten efforts to reign in rogue motorists to curb such losses.

What I am going through is not easy. You cannot wish it even on your worst enemy.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of