Investigators release report on Kiptum’s car inspection

Investigators Tuesday revealed that the vehicle that claimed the lives of World Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizamana had no mechanical issues.

According to Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge, a mechanical inspection report following an assessment of Kelvin’ Kiptums Toyota Premio on Monday and Tuesday shows the vehicle was mechanically fit in all aspects.

“The examiner said there was no pre-accident evidence of a mechanical breakdown, which basically means it had good breaks, tyres, lights, everything mechanically okay according to the investigations,” Mr Mulinge told Nation Sport on Tuesday evening.

However, other aspects of the accident investigation continue, he said.

Kiptum was driving his Toyota Premio with two passengers on board- Garvais and a female identified as Sharon Kosgey when the accident happened at 11pm near Flax centre in the Kaptagat area along the Eldoret-Ravine Road from the Eldoret side, according to the police report.

Keiyo South Sub-County police boss Dahir Abdullahi told Nation Sport on Tuesday that a preliminary report by mechanical investigators had ruled out any mechanical problems with the athlete’s vehicle before the accident, indicating that investigators suspect the vehicle might have been at high speed due to the impact.

“Going by the assessment report, the vehicle was in good condition,” he said.

A combined team of investigators from the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), and police investigators are handling the probe, NTSA Road Strategy Safety Manager told Nation Sport on Tuesday evening.

“The team comprises road auditors who are looking at the terrain of the area and the road condition and motor vehicle inspectors looking at the mechanical state of the ill-fated vehicle,” he said, indicating that the report will be ready soon.

The team has since Monday been trying to piece together the events that led to the tragic accident.

According to an earlier preliminary report shared by Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge on Sunday night following the accident, Kiptum lost control of the vehicle, which then veered off the road, landing in a ditch about 60 meters away, before hitting a big tree.

Apart from the mechanical assessment of the vehicle, investigators will also be banking on the post-mortem report of both the athlete and his coach for further clues, as well as talking to witnesses who arrived at the scene first.

“The inspection report could reveal something because these are experts. Please let’s complete investigations to determine what happened. We cannot disclose anything at this point as whatever we have gathered is not sufficient to reach many conclusions. We need the entire report of the investigation,” Mr Mulinge said on Monday evening.

“The doctor’s post-mortem report will tell us more, we shall have a clearer picture when we get the entire report,” he stated.

Nation Sport has learnt that Kiptum and his coach had Sunday evening been watching the English Premier League (EPL) match between Manchester United and Aston Villa.

Interviews with close friends on Tuesday indicated they might have been headed to Small Town Chepkorio centre along the Eldoret-Ravine road to watch the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final after watching the EPL game in Eldoret.

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