“Brakes hazifanyi, these are my mother’s last words,” says Gift. Twelve-year-old Gift Otieno has survived death by a whisker. What started as an awesome day out turns gruesome after the car of Winnie Achieng’ plunged into the Indian Ocean.
The twelve-year-old boy jumped out of the car and managed to swim to safety. A team of local divers rushed to the scene with attempts of saving the mother and son. “My mother tried pressing the brakes but they failed. As a result, the car then rolled and plunged into the Ocean. I quickly unfastened my safety belt, opened the front door, and got out of the wrecked car,” says the young boy. He learned his swimming skills through his frequent visits to the beach. Little did he know this skill would be his lifesaver.
Read Also; Beauty beyond scars.
Makupa causeway in Mombasa County leaves a hollow in the young boy’s heart. Winnie Achieng’ together with her son Gift Otieno were in the car when it plunged into the Indian Ocean. The two were traveling from Changamwe towards Mombasa town when the tragedy happened. Early today morning, Wednesday, December 23rd the car had brake failure a few moments before the fatal crash. The saloon car, Toyota Vitz registration number KCY 556B hit a pavement before losing control.
Winnie Achieng’ Last Moments
Thirty-three year old Winnie Achieng’ was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital. Good Samaritans rushed her and her son to Coast General Hospital for emergency aid. Police reports indicate that Winnie was using the outer lane. Apparently, she attempted to overtake a motor vehicle but tragically fell off the Makupa causeway when swerving back.
“It happened that the driver at that time was using the outer lane. She overtook a motorcycle that was ahead of her. However, when she was swerving back her car hit the pavement, lost control, and plunged into the Indian Ocean,” reads the police report.
Gift’s father, Nahashon Otieno is grateful for the miracle of his son’s life. Apparently, his son swam thirty distance meters to safety. “It is a miracle. My son swimming a distance of around 20 to 30 meters. This occurs because immediately after the car skid from the road, it ended up around that distance,” narrates the bereaved widower.
Mombasa County Governor, Hassan Joho has sent his condolence message to Winnie’s family. “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Winnie Achieng’ who passed away following a harrowing car accident this morning at the Makupa causeway. It’s a painful ordeal to lose a loved one in this manner. May the Almighty rest her soul in eternal peace,” stated Mombasa Governor.
This comes a year after a saloon car plunged into the Indian Ocean at the Likoni ferry channel. Unlike today, both passengers succumbed and were found days later. 35- year-old Mariam Kigenda and her 4-year old daughter Amanda Mutheu plunged into the thick Ocean waters. Their car slid from the rear of MV Harambee a few moments before docking on the Island side.