Makueni County officials have advised motorists on Mombasa-Nairobi highway to use Makindu-Wote-Machakos bypass after floods submerged bridge in Sultan Hamud. PHOTO | COURTESYMakueni County officials have advised motorists on Mombasa-Nairobi highway to use Makindu-Wote-Machakos bypass after floods submerged bridge in Sultan Hamud. PHOTO | COURTESY
By PIUS MAUNDU

Motorists on Mombasa-Nairobi highway were stranded for more than 18 hours Saturday morning after a crane that attempted to recover a lorry that had overturned near Salama shopping centre also overturned.

The snarl up affected all lanes and caused anguish to travellers headed to various destinations.

“Vehicles that attempted to evade the snarl up by driving on the wrong lanes made the jam worse,” said Mukaa OCPD Charles Muthui.

Affected motorists and passengers spent the night on the road.

SPEND NIGHT

“What started lightly as an attempt by motorists to overlap became a total gridlock and drivers had to switch the lights off and passengers decided to spend the night in the vehicles,” said Ken Kyeva, a victim.

The jam was compounded by heavy rains in the area that saw Sultan Hamud River break its banks and blocking the busy road on Saturday morning.

Police advised motorists to drive through Machakos-Wote-Makindu route to avoid the gridlock.

A Nairobi-bound bus that was attempting to evade the jam slightly rammed a lorry at Matiliku shopping centre as it manoeuvred through the soggy Emali-Ukia route.

None of the passengers and crew of the two vehicles was injured.

SECOND ACCIDENT

This is is the second time in a week a lorry accident at the same stretch of the busy road has caused a gridlock that lasted for hours.

Last weekend, motorists spent more than six hours in a jam after a lorry transporting sand blocked the road after it broke down at Malili shopping centre.

In both instances, Mr Muthui blamed inpatient motorists who attempted to evade the jam by overtaking from the wrong lanes for the protracted snarl up.