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What actually killed Kelvin Kiptum - Gov't pathologist Johansen Oduor

In a significant update to the tragic demise of 24-year-old marathon prodigy Kelvin Kiptum, chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor has concluded the much-anticipated postmortem examination.

Chief Government Pathologist Dr. Johansen Oduor Nyayal

The late athlete, whose life was abruptly ended in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county, has been at the centre of rigorous investigations to uncover the precise circumstances leading to his untimely death.

Dr. Oduor's findings provide a clearer picture of the severe injuries that ultimately led to Kiptum's death.

The examination revealed that Kiptum suffered from extensive trauma, including severe head injuries characterized by significant skull fractures primarily at the base of the skull.


The impact of these injuries was so intense that it caused the spinal cord to intrude into the cranial cavity, indicating the sheer force of the accident.

The report further detailed multiple rib fractures, with the first to third ribs fractured on the left side and the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh ribs fractured on the right side. Additionally, there was a contusion on the lungs, pointing to injuries sustained to the lungs as well.

According to Dr. Oduor, the lethal combination of severe head injuries and the associated trauma is indicative of a violent motor vehicle accident.


“So what actually killed the late Kelvin was severe head injuries, which when I look at them, they look more like something caused by a motor vehicle accident,” he told the press.

These findings have been crucial in piecing together the last moments of Kiptum's life and establishing the cause of death with a higher degree of certainty.

In the pursuit of comprehensive clarity, samples have been collected for a full toxicology analysis. This step is pivotal in investigating whether any substances present in Kiptum's system could have influenced the circumstances leading to the accident.

The analysis aims to answer critical questions about the potential impact of external factors on Kiptum's ability to drive safely at the time of the accident.


The team of detectives from the DCI retraced Kiptum’s last moments before the accident that also claimed the life of his coach Garvais Hakizimana.

Police collected information from three hotels that the star athlete visited that night before heading home.

Kelvin Kiptum, whose dedication and prowess on the track were unmatched, spent his last hours engaging in seemingly routine activities, unaware of the fate that awaited him.

The first stop was the Talex Inn Restaurant Pub and Car Wash, located along the scenic Iten-Eldoret road, a hub for athletes and locals alike.


CCTV footage obtained from the establishment shows the athlete’s Toyota Premio entering the joint.

In the video, Kiptum is seen conversing with an unidentified man before the two left for an unknown location.

Later Kiptum and his companions made their way to The Well Irish Pub and Restaurant at Rupa Mall.


Jeremy Kipkorir, a supervisor at the establishment, noted their arrival at 6:36 pm and departure shortly before 9:00 pm.

The final leg of their journey took them to The Grand Miarmir Guest House in Annex, off the Eldoret-Nairobi highway, about 14 kilometres away from Rupa Mall.

According to the security checkpoint, the vehicle arrived at 9:12 p.m. suggesting that the journey to a little over 10 minutes.

It was here that Kiptum, Hakizimana, and Chepkurui shared a meal, with Kiptum opting for his favoured dish of meat and boiled bananas.

The guest house's director, Elphas Sitienei, confirmed their presence and their choice to spend time in the VIP lounge.


The serene evening took a tragic turn as the trio departed from The Grand Miarmir Guest House at about 10:16 p.m when he paid the bill via mobile money, embarking on a drive toward the training base in Chepkorio, Elgeyo Marakwet.

The accident occurred at Flax Junction, a mere 36 kilometres from their last known location.

Initial investigations suggest that the vehicle, a Toyota Premio, veered off the road at high speed, colliding with a tree in a devastating crash.


Despite the absence of mechanical defects or adverse weather conditions, the accident's cause remains under scrutiny, with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and local police offering insights into the vehicle's condition and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The site of the accident, now marked by flowers and a wooden poster bearing 'Kiptum Road', stands as a poignant reminder of the fateful night.

According to police, the survivor of the accident, Sharon, said she alerted Kiptum about the vehicle veering off the road but it was too late.


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