Three Kenyans have been confirmed dead from a fatal road crash during The Arusha Drive 3.0. race event on Sunday at Oldonyosambu along the Arusha-Namanga road in Tanzania.
Four Kenyans were involved in the crash, leaving one female survivor. The deceased include one woman and two men; one of whom is 21-year-old Robin Kiambuthi, nephew to Kirinyaga woman Rep Purity Ngirici.
The second victim was identified as 20-year-old Onesmus Mwangi, an IT specialist in Nairobi. The third victim is a female friend identified only as Linet who had accompanied them.
Police said the bodies of the deceased have been airlifted to their families in Kenya.
“The next of kin of those who perished have already been informed and their bodies airlifted back to the country, while the survivor is in the process of being transferred home for medication after stabilization by Tanzanian medics,” said police spokesman Charles Owino.
The victims were driving in a red Mitsubishi Colt owned by Mr Kiambuthi.
The racing enthusiast was studying engineering at DT Dobie in Nairobi and described his car as a “little speed monster.” He is said to have modified it to make it faster and more comfortable.
His aunt, Woman Rep Purity Ngirici, took to social media to mourn Kiambuthi describing him as a sociable bubbly gentleman.
“The cruel hand of death has snatched my beloved nephew Robin who perished from the Arusha-Namanga accident. Robin was a young man of virtue. I recall with nostalgia his passion for everything his mindset to do. He was a sociable bubbly gentleman who like any other young person had great dreams for his future. Rest in eternal peace, my dear nephew. You will be fondly missed,” Purity wrote.
According to witnesses, the crash occurred when a speeding driver ploughed into Mr Kiambuthi’s Mitsubishi Colt as it made a sudden move to exit the road without warning.
A Kenyan driver, who took part in the illegal drag race, said a team of about 30 Kenyans had been invited by their Tanzanian friends for a barbecue, alongside the street race.
“We formed a WhatsApp group to ease our planning. We travelled in eight cars,” said the driver who refused to be named due to restrictions by his club.
He said a convoy of four cars from Kenya had arrived at Ol Donyo Sambu ahead of the rest. It was making its way to the venue of the barbecue and the race was yet to begin when the accident occurred, he said.
According to the source, Onesmus was their group leader and was leading the convoy driving Robin’s car.
On Monday, neighbours said Robin left their Runda home excited about the Arusha Drive racing event.
Robin is the son of Mr Patrick Njiru, who owns the Kenya Moja buses.