Motorist who killed KU student in hit-and-run accident convicted

A senior prison officer, who knocked down a university student last year in July, in what appeared to be a hit-and-run accident, has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Magistrate Elekta Riany on Monday convicted Sergeant Dismas Gitenge Motongwa for killing 22-year-old third year Kenyatta University student Maureen Wambui Gachagua on July 15, 2018 along Mombasa Road.

The Magistrate pointed out that the accused’s defense was full of lies and therefore ruled that he was an outright dangerous driver.

“The accused was speeding, is culpable of giving false information to public service and I find him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving,” the Magistrate ruled.

On the fateful day, the deceased had attended an overnight party with her boyfriend, Dennis Mburu Baragu, at the NextGen Mall on Mombasa Road.

While her boyfriend crossed a trench outside the mall to join Mombasa Road, her girlfriend decided to use the main path to join the road.

However, she never made it to the other side of the road as she was knocked down by a speeding red car.

He boyfriend saw the speeding vehicle and desperately looked for her body in the nearby surrounding without success before embarking on a search for her in various hospitals.

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The late Maureen Wambui Gachagua. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU

DUMPED BODY

While at the reception of Mariakani hospital, a woman narrated how the body of a woman had been dumped around that area by an unknown person.

Upon reaching the said location where the alleged body had been dumped – at a turn near Car Max dealers in South C – he found her body dumped with her face facing down. Her right leg was missing and the whole body was badly injured.

But beside the body was a number plate of a car – KCN 285B – which disappeared as soon as an early crowd got to the scene.

Apparently, the accused drove three kilometers with her body on the roof of his car before dumping it in South C Estate, Nairobi.

The accused then drove to Lang’ata Women Prison’s staff quarters, parked the car, unscrewed the hind number plate and took a different car.

He then reported at Langata Police Station that he had hit a cow along Mombasa Road.

But a signal circulated by officers who had already noted down the number plate found next to Maureen’s body and it matched it with the statement that was recorded at the police station by the accused.

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Maureen Wambui Gachagua. She died after being hit by a car. PHOTO | COURTESY

MISSING NUMBER PLATE

When the Sergeant reported the matter again at Industrial Area Police Station, the officers insisted that he goes for the car that had been involved in the accident.

Before that vehicle was availed, he first insisted that his words be taken in as the truth. And when the car was availed, he took the blood-stained number plate from the boot, an indication that he had taken it from the scene.

On his defense during the trial, the accused claimed that he was on lane one yet in actual sense he was on lane two where the accident occurred.

He also claimed that he did not stop his car because he was armed with a Ceska pistol and that he feared being robbed.

The accused’s account of the happenings contradicted that of the deceased’s boyfriend who witnessed the accident.

“No one can avoid an accident, but the way one handles the case afterwards is what matters,” the Magistrate said.

Maureen, a third year bachelor of Arts student, was one month pregnant when she died.

She was buried at Mung’aria village, Nyeri County, on July 26, 2018.

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