(Xinhua) -- Kenyan distance athlete Francis Kiplagat
was among the five who lost their lives in a grisly multiple
accident on Monday night that left 2010 African men’s 5,000m
silver medallist Vincent Yator injured.
Another athlete, who is yet to be
identified, was also injured in the accident where two died at
the scene on the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway and three at the
nearby St Mary’s Mission Hospital.
Those injured were rushed to local
hospitals following the incident at about 10:30pm.
The accident occurred after a trailer
lost control and rammed into a fleet of vehicles heading towards
Nairobi, with Yator who finished fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth
Games among those hospitalized.
The athletes were travelling back to
Eldoret after spending the day in Nairobi processing travel
visas to compete abroad.
Kiplagat, 28, is credited with nine
career victories by the Association of Road Running
Statisticians, with lifetime bests of 14:58 (5km), 29:45 (10km),
62:49 (Half Marathon) and 2:15:57 (Marathon).
He won the 2015 Srem (68:08) and
Bialystok (65:08) half marathons in Poland as well as the Olesno
(14:58) 5km road race in the same country.
According to a training partner,
identified only as Sheila, the 28-year-old Yator who is the
Nairobi 2010 silver winner and his colleagues spent Monday
morning in Nairobi processing travel documents to race abroad.
“We were with them in Nairobi to apply
for visas and Yator told me he would be left behind in town
to chase some payment from his agent abroad at Central Bank
since he wanted to take the money with him home,” said
“There is one called Evans that Yator
is still pursuing his money that had been delayed at Central
Bank. At night, Evans flashed me and when I called him back,
he informed me that Yator had not yet arrived in Eldoret and
it was past midnight,” she told journalists.
“I did not call during the night; I
went to sleep. In the morning (Tuesday), I went for training
and called Festus, who told me he had travelled and was
already in Nakuru and they could not find Francis (Kiplagat).
They later found Francis in Gilgil deceased,” the grieving
Julius Ndegwa, the Secretary of the
Professional Athletes Association of Kenya said Yator was
injured in the head, chest and back.
“I understand the deceased is Francis
Kiplagat, he was in the vehicle that had an accident in
Kikopey. I will give more details as soon as I get them,”
Yator made his Team Kenya debut as a
junior when he finished fifth at the 2008 World Under 20
Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland running 13:35.67 in the men’s
He also finished just outside the
medals in fourth at the 2011 (5,000m) and 2015 (10,000m) All
Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique and Brazzaville, Congo in
that order, the latter marking his last outing with Team Kenya.