In the face of death, most of us would do anything to rescue ourselves from the deadly jaws of the Grim Reaper. But for Kevin Mwanza Mutava, the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft that crashed near Kericho on Wednesday, killing all five on board, saving his would-rescuers’ lives became his main concern – just moments to his last blink and breath!
Mr Mutava was the navigator of the Cessna 206 registration 5Y-BSE that crashed in a private farm in Kamuingi One, Londiani. As he struggled to get out of the seat-belt, a good Samaritan, a farmer, who was tilling land with a tractor in the farm, rushed to help him untangle himself. But Mutava, writhing in pain, advised him against moving closer to the plane, warning that it could explode.
In a similar situation, anyone will welcome help regardless of the risks posed to the rescuers. The fact that Mutava, would think of the risk first before accepting to be rescued is simply unimaginable, even heroic, in a society where people fear death more than God himself.
The good Samaritan, who was working on the farm the plane crashed on, reportedly ran to the scene soon after the crash to at least save a life.
Mr Josephat Kimutai, a tractor driver working at the farm during the crash witnessed the whole incident but remained helpless after the advisory from the pilot. Mr Kimutai also recalls seeing a female occupant of the plane try to jump off but she couldn’t do so as her seat belt was still locked in.
He had seen the plane as it appeared to lose control until the pilot unsuccessfully tried make an emergency landing at Kamuingi One Secondary School. The pilot was seen waving his hands to scatter the students who had now come out to watch the plane before he tried to land but was not successful.
Moments later, the plane crashed into a cypress tree in a farm with five passengers on board. Mr Kimutai and Mr Josphat Gikonyo, the owner of the farm, rushed to the scene and found the pilot still alive but badly injured.
According to Mr Gikonyo, the pilot warned them to keep off as the plane could explode at any moment. “The pilot was stuck in the wreckage but he was still alive although badly injured. He told us to keep off, saying the plane could explode into flames. We, however, tried to remove them but they succumbed to their injuries while still trapped in their seats,” recalls Mr Gikonyo.
The plane crash cost the lives of an American family of three who were on holiday and were coming from a two-night vacation at Maasai Mara. Carl Richard Sednaoui, his wife Melissa Witt and daughter Cynthia Charles Sednaoui all died alongside the pilot and an unidentified man.