Modern Coast tragedy as lifelong friends collided in deadly crash

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Japhred Lucas Lukasile (left) and Moses Wanjala, drivers of the two Modern Coast buses that collided at Kiongwani on December 12, 2019.
Japhred Lucas Lukasile (left) and Moses Wanjala, drivers of the two Modern Coast buses that collided at Kiongwani on December 12, 2019.

Two Modern Coast buses collided at Kiongwani near Salama area along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, with the terrible results still being felt in the aftermath.

The 2.40 am accident left 62 passengers with serious injuries while seven died.

It has however been established by Daily Nation that the two drivers of the buses were more than just colleagues. Moses Wanjala (49) and Japhred Lucas Lukasile (57) hailed from neighbouring villages in Kakamega County and were long-term friends.

Modern Coast bus that was involved in an accident at Kiongwani along the Nairobi Mombasa Highway on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Modern Coast bus that was involved in an accident at Kiongwani along the Nairobi Mombasa Highway on Thursday, December 12, 2019.

Wanjala was from Mukabakaba Village, while Lukasile was from Lutali Village, both in Kakamega North Sub-county.

According to the newspaper, the two drivers often visited each other’s families. They were close friends and their paths often crossed as they plied their trade in different routes.

When Daily Nation visited their families in Kakamega, villagers, friends and relatives alike were struggling to come to terms with their demise and had convened to arrange burial plans.

Agnes Ongaya, widow of Japhfred Lucas Lukasile at her Lutali home in Malava on December 13, 2019.
Agnes Ongaya, widow of Japhfred Lucas Lukasile at her Lutali home in Malava on December 13, 2019.

Wanjala and Lukasile boasted a wealth of experience having worked together for long before joining the Modern Coast company.

Wanjala was a long-distance truck driver for seven years before joining Modern Coast.

Lukasile worked as a matatu driver for several years before he was absorbed as a bus driver for Malava Boys High School then joined Modern Coast.

Wanjala left behind a widow and three children. His firstborn is a student at Pwani University while another, a daughter, is a student at Eregi Girls High School, Vihiga County.

Wanjala’s mother, Julia Mwasame could not withhold her tears after learning of her son’s death. The distraught mother is a cancer patient, undergoing treatment at Moi Teaching and Referal Hospital in Eldoret.

Mourners console Moses Wanjala's family at his Mukabakaba Harambee Village home in Malava on December 13, 2019.
Mourners console Moses Wanjala’s family at his Mukabakaba Harambee Village home in Malava on December 13, 2019.

Nathan Museve, a relative to Lukasile, stated that Modern Coast was yet to console the families of the two dead drivers.

“We have taken the decision to raise money and send some family members to Mombasa to make preparations to have the bodies brought home,” Museve was quoted by Daily Nation.

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