Kenya crash: Injured student returns home

By APN - with Amy McGillivray


The most seriously injured of the 19 people involved in a fatal minibus crash in Kenya has arrived home.

Aneka Jones, who suffered a dislocated hip and fractured pelvis in the crash, was joined in Nairobi by her mother and aunt as she waited to be released from hospital and cleared to make the long flight home.

Bethlehem College board of trustees chairman Greg Hollister-Jones confirmed last night that Aneka was now home, but would not reveal if she was receiving further treatment at Tauranga Hospital.

Mr Hollister-Jones said the members of the group who were medically fit had now all returned to school for the new year, where they were being well supported.

Meanwhile, it is now believed former student David Fellows, 18, would not have been legally allowed to drive the HiAce minibus the group was travelling in at the time of the crash.

Bethlehem College last week admitted he was driving the minibus, not Kenyan driver Christopher Mmata, when it crashed, killing four people.

Kenya's Traffic Act requires drivers of minibuses - known as "matatus" - to be at least 24 years old and to have held a licence for cars or commercial vehicles for four years or more. A matatu is defined as a public service vehicle having seating for up to 25 passengers.

Traffic laws were the subject of a major publicity campaign in Kenya while the college group were there. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation deputy editor-in-chief Samuel Maina said Kenya's Ministry of Transport launched "a huge campaign" around mid-November.

"The issue of road carnage is a big issue in Kenya," Mr Maina said.

When asked whether the fact Mr Fellows may have been driving illegally would make the group's travel insurance void, Mr Hollister-Jones said: "This was still an accident and insurance is to cover accidents.

"I have no comment on whether or not it was legal for David to drive. That's one of the things that the board of trustees' investigation will be looking at," he said.

Mr Hollister-Jones said he had "no idea" if the law was discussed prior to the fatal journey.

Former Bethlehem College student Caitlin Dickson, 19, and Tauranga couple Brian and Grace Johnston died in the accident and were farewelled on January 24 and 26 respectively.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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