PART 1 – THE DEATH OF MORRIS: THE FACTS

I can’t say for sure at what exact time the bus arrived at the bus park. It must have been a little past seven because I remember feeling a little worried at having kept the girl I was talking to all that long at the bus park. She had wanted to go home earlier but I had asked her to stay. Most of the time I was facing away from the bus park, towards her, but I’d turn around every time a bus arrived for another trip. I recall turning around this one time to see Muiruri’s bus (KBU ###) headed towards the bus park at what was, to me and many others, a high speed for the bus park, especially seeing as it was rather crowded.
The bus made a questionable turn towards the basketball court still at high speed. It was alarming because there were still students playing at that hour. I remember seeing the back of the bus lift as if the bus had gone over a bump. That raised questions in my mind: how come, yet we have no bump anywhere near the bus park? What did the bus run over? And why would the driver go all that way to park while the usual boarding spots were all empty? Someone cursed beside me, throwing insults at the driver. I did not feel any mercy or empathy for the driver; his behavior did not sit well with me either. Anyway, it took a moment for what just happened to hit me. The girl I was talking to said it first, “Mtu amekanyangwa…” We went to the place the bus had gone over the non-existent bump, and where a crowd was now gathering, and sure enough someone had been run over.
Some of the more proactive students were taking charge, each in the way they could and/or knew how. One was particularly active, telling the crowd to push back, coordinating the lady who was putting him in position and calling out for a vehicle. I remember him partly because of how involved he was throughout the whole response process, and partly because he is the chairman of a club I am a member of, CSOK. The first vehicle to arrive at the scene was a saloon car brought by the VC’s chauffer. But before we could get Morris in (God rest his soul), the ambulance arrived being driven by the same driver who ran over him. No siren, no emergency vehicle lighting, absolutely nothing, just another van with a stretcher. As if that weren’t bad enough, the ambulance came with no trained first aid personnel. Actually, there weren’t any type of personnel onboard, trained or not. We had to get out the stretcher ourselves, and roll it over to where Morris lay, already unconscious, if the limpness of his body at that point is anything to go by. We did not even know how to lower it to the ground, and at least three of us fumbled under it trying to find anything that might be pulled, pressed or pushed to lower the stretcher so we could hoist the victim without causing more damage. Luckily, someone figured it out and the stands of the stretcher buckled, folding on themselves until it was closer to the ground.
We lifted Morris at the count of three, placing him safely on the stretcher, which was then raised to its rolling position and wheeled to the ambulance. The back of the ambulance was all dark, many of us shouted out to the drivers (the VC’s driver had taken over from Muiruri at this point) to switch on the back lights to no avail. I tried switching them on, even going around to the front to switch on the one at the drivers cabin just to make sure the car was really on. Those worked, lighting up the cabin the moment I flipped the switch. Up until the moment the ambulance drove off, the lights at the back of the ambulance were still off; I don’t know if at some point they worked.
What I remember of the events at the back of the ambulance is noting, at the moment when we were pushing the stretcher in, that Morris’ head was too limp, and was wobbling from side to side, dangerously close to falling off one edge of the stretcher. I told the lady who had taken her position inside the ambulance to support it. Everyone was playing their part helping fight for this life at stake.
At that moment I went to the front where a different fight was ongoing. The students were furious, and all their anger was directed at one man, Muiruri. From where he was sitting, in the middle seat at the front, I could see he had been roughed up already because the cabin light was on. One could even see the fear written all over his face. But that was not my immediate concern; I wanted the ambulance out of there fast because I knew the state Morris was in at the back. So I helped the chairman to push back the students who were still advancing trying to get to Muiruri through the driver’s door. We then signaled the VC’s driver to leave for the hospital. He first went to the university’s medical centre, before driving off to Mathari Mission Hospital, as I was to hear later. These are the facts I personally witnessed at the bus park.
The next day I was to learn that Morris had passed away, but no one mentioned the time of his death. Personally, looking back in retrospect, I am not even sure if he was still alive by the time we put him in the ambulance already unconscious. I still wonder for what reasons the university has an unmanned ambulance, while it’s known that it’s actually first aid that saves more lives than the speed at which one gets to a hospital. But I’ll not speculate here, I was merely presenting the facts as I remember them, and while they are still fresh in my mind.
Rest in Peace Morris.

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