Last year in mid December, me and mine plus my lovely helper were on our way to visit my sister along Ngong Rd. I was to drop them off, head for a short meeting and come back to my sister’s place. Little did we know, our plans were about to change before they got better.
Just after the bridge that leads to Jamhuri Show Ground as you head towards town, you begin to encounter the road side traders with the ground nuts, sugarcane, sweets and all manner of children toys. It is our favourite stretch on the road because we love eating in the car and eating roadside foods. We had just hit that stretch, set sight on our first purchase which was from a sugarcane vendor when we heard a loud bang!
Two of mine were seated at the back and the youngest was next to me held by my helper. I looked back and the two were laughing and sharing stories. My helper and I seemed to be the only people aware that something was amiss. I stopped the car and came out. I was met by an accident scene. We had been hit from the back by a car that was hit from the back – a triple car pile. Car in the middle was quite squashed.
Middle driver was a guy and last car was being driven by a man as well and he had two male passengers. It was a company car and they were on the way to deliver some goods.
What followed was confusion and me being ignored by the men squad. I have never been in an accident before. I was completely unaware what to do, action to take. The middle guy took charge and together with one of the men in the first car got a cop on the scene. Cop of course followed the status quo and spend time with the guys as I tried to follow what was going on. People passing by kept telling me:
“Madam wewe uko sawa. Watakulipa wote wawili” (Madam, you are fine. Both of them will pay you)
Final decision was made that we should all follow each other to the nearest Police Station to get an official record of the accident. Guy in the middle talked with policeman kando and drove off. So I, I had already gotten alternative transport for mine and my helper, followed the first car to the police station. It gets interesting here, and I discovered firsthand that ignorance is very expensive.
One of the documents I heard being discussed was an abstract. I was clueless on this document. So when I got to the station a couple of minutes after the first car I just sat in the waiting shed and waited for the abstract. I did not know what this was or the procedure of acquiring one. One of the men in the first car got chatting with me and informed me that the driver was abit distracted because his wife was due for a spinal cord operation the following day. I was getting quite late for a crucial meeting and wondered what to do. So I ask the guy chatting me to send me a copy of the abstract so that I can send it to the insurance.
In the evening said guy sent me a picture of an OB number. I was sure that was not the abstract form. So I asked about the abstract and he said they were told to go pick it up next day in the morning. I show up at the station and cop asks me:
“ulinunua abstract form?” (did you buy the abstract form?)
I answer in the negative. She directs me to the Police Station Canteen to purchase a copy of the abstract. I think it was either 5 or 10 shillings. She took it and asked me to come back the following day to pick it up. I show up the next day and abstract is not filled up. She asks me to sit down and supply her with the OB number, at least I had that one. And then she proceeded on to fill in the form. I honestly wondered why she did not do it the previous day.
Lessons in case you are involved in an accident in Kenya
- Call your insurance and inform them of the accident
- Take photos of the scene – most important to capture is the number plates of the cars involved plus the insurance for each car
- Take the details of the cop who attend to you at the accident scene – name, phone number, police station
- When you get to the station please purchase your own copy of the abstract
- Ensure that you capture the OB number for the accident
After getting the Abstract the insurance took over the matter and the car got repaired.