A Kenyan woman has died in a horror smash after her car collided with a fire engine which was driving to save a schoolgirl early today.
The motorist was close to Basildon fire station when her Toyota Yaris was struck by the Essex Fire and Rescue Service vehicle.
Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde, who was from Basildon, was treated for her injuries at the scene but pronounced dead just before 9am today.
The car was left in a twisted heap of metal, while the front of the fire engine was left crumpled with the front of its vehicle caved in.
The firefighters had originally been responding to a two-vehicle crash on Pitsea Road, they said.
The crew were less than a minute into their journey when the horror smash happened on the stretch of 40mph road.
None of them were hurt in the accident but witnesses said members of the brigade was visibly upset.
The 11-year-old girl who had been trapped in one of the vehicles was subsequently cut free after sustaining minor injuries.
A police source said early indications were that there had â€˜not been any fault’ on the part of the fire engine’s driver.
The mangled gold Yaris ended up on the side of the road whilst the fire engine ploughed into metal railings before coming to a halt.
Oil and debris covered the one-way road which was not expected to be opened again until the early evening.
The dead woman, thought to live locally, has not been named and police are currently trying to contact her family. (Police named her as Martha Gakonde from Kenya after contacting family)
An Essex Police spokesman said: â€˜We were called to a road traffic crash at 9am on Broadmayne, Basildon.
â€˜Two vehicles were involved, a fire engine and another car. There was one occupant in the car and the driver was certified dead immediately.’
Police said the woman was driving a beige Toyota Yaris which she was freed from after the crash by fire crews using cutting equipment.
A spokesman from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) said the fire engine was responding to an emergency call where an 11-year-old child was trapped in a vehicle.
A statement on its website said: â€˜The appliance was leaving the station responding to an emergency call when the incident happened by the fire station. The alarm was raised by crews.
â€˜The appliance was responding to a road traffic collision in Ashlyns, Basildon, where an 11-year-old child was trapped in a vehicle.’
Senior Divisional Officer Mark Wilson, who heads Essex fire service’s west command, said: â€˜We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of the woman involved in this terrible accident.
â€˜Although full and thorough investigations will be carried out by both the police and fire Service, it is important to remember today that this family is suffering a tragic loss and all of our thoughts are with them. We will offer them our support in any way it is needed.
â€˜Members of the crew, although unhurt, are extremely distressed and shaken by this tragic incident.
â€˜They were responding to an emergency call to save a child trapped in another incident nearby â€“ saving life is what they do every day so to be directly involved in an accident with such serious consequences deeply affects all of us.’
Part of the eastbound carriageway was closed for about six hours while forensic collision investigators carried out inquiries.
Essex Police is appealing for witnesses to the collision to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0300 333 4444.
A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said: â€˜Ambulance crews who were dealing with an earlier road traffic collision in the area were alerted to a fire engine in collision with a car nearby at 8.56am.
â€˜Sadly, after everyone’s best efforts, a woman has been pronounced dead at the scene. Our thoughts are with her family at this tragic time.’
DEATH AND FUNERAL ANNOUNCEMENT
A Kenyan lady has passed away in the UK.
The late Martha Nyaruiru Gakonde (left) wife of Mr. John Njuguna (right) of Basildon, Essex was killed by a fire brigade vehicle onFriday 9th September, 2011.
According to some sources Mrs. Njuguna’s car was hit by a fire brigade vehicle on it’s way to attend an emergency. The same sources says
that the fire brigade vehicle lost control and crossed the road going over the road barrier to hit Martha’s car on the other side of the road (see photos below).
The couple originally comes from Limuru, Kenya. Martha was mother to Nathan Njuguna Mwaura 12yrs, Peter Gakonde Mwaura 11yrs and Kathy Wariara 9yrs.
Martha was Daughter to Mr Gakonde Nyagu and Mrs Catherine Gakonde of Ngarariga, Limuru. She was sister to Grace Wambui â€“ Kenya,
Rosemary Njeri â€“ UK, Benson Nyagu â€“ Kenya, Lydia Muthoni UK, John Mwaniki â€“USA.
She was sister-in-law to Paul Nganga Njuguna â€“ USA, Hannah Njeri (Mahua) â€“ Formerly USA â€“ Kenya, Rachael Wairimu Njuguna â€“ UK,
David Mwangi Njuguna â€“ Kenya, Jane Wanjiru Njuguna â€“ USA, and Rose Wambui Njuguna â€“UK.
Friends and relatives are meeting daily from 6.00 pm till 10.00 for prayers at 27 Wythefield, Basildon, SS13 3EN.
For contribution â€“ Bank Account â€“ Barclays, Name L.N. KAGUATHI, Sort code â€“ 203004, Account 03705056. For more information contact: Lucy â€“ 07878177928, Njuguna â€“ 07898299100, Monica â€“ 07588458622