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Death crash driver denies charges

The driver of  the Umoinner matatu rammed by a train at Mutindwa level crossing has denied nine counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Edward Githae Wanjau also faced two other counts of driving a vehicle carelessly across a railway line and driving without a  public service license.

He appeared before Makadara senior principal magistrate Mr Timothy Okello. He was remanded in custody for seven days for police to complete investigations.

Mr Wanjau is alleged to have caused the deaths of  Aggrey Kagame, Rebecca Otieno,r Joseph Kirem,r Danson Musau , Zipporah Njeri and Teresia Ndirangu.

Prosecution counsel Simon Muriuki had applied to have the accused remanded in custody for 14 days. He said police have not completed investigations.

Mr Muriuki said out of the 12 passengers who lost their lives during the accident only nine had been identified.

The prosecutor said some of the injured are still in hospital and are yet to record statements with the police.

Defence lawyer Samson Ndegwa told the court that the offence is bailable and that the prosecution had not shown any evidence that the accused will interfere with investigations.

Media reports on Thursday said that Mr Wanjau, the matatu driver, had been in the  for profession for 15 years and claimed to have a clean record.

Police say he was racing to beat the oncoming train.

His bus was in a queue of vehicles that had stopped to allow the train through, when he broke ranks with the rest of the vehicles, it emerged.

On realising that he had tragically miscalculated, Mr Wanjau reportedly jumped out of his vehicle, according to policemen at the scene.

The train hit the matatu and pushed it for 200 metres before it screeched to a halt.

Three people died on the spot, while 34 of the injured were treated at the Mama Lucy Hospital.