, March 12, 2008
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
By AjabuAfrica.com Staffer
A young Kenyan man drowned in the frigid waters of Sudbury River in Weston, Massachusetts, USA, in what people believe are bizarre and shocking circumstances.
Mr. Sam Githiabii, aka ‘Sam Mrefu’, was driving westbound on the Mass Pike Highway (Interstate 90) with two friends when he suddenly complained to his passengers of a throbbing headache. “The next thing I heard was the car hitting the guard rail. It then stopped suddenly on top of the bridge with the passenger side of the car pinned to the bridge’s protective barrier”, said George Muigai, who was riding on the front passenger side. This happened around 8 p.m. on their way to attend a friend’s baby shower in Worcester.
Sam then got out of the car, which had partially climbed on the protective barrier, and went round to the rear to presumably check on the extent of the damage.
At about the same time George, who sat on the co-driver’s seat, climbed out from the driver’s door to check on the damages too. He was shocked to see Sam many feet below in the middle of the chilly waters of Sudbury River fighting for dear life. George then rushed to open the rear door for Ben Gathoni, who was stuck inside because the door had a child safety lock on at the time of the accident.
“I told him Sam had fallen into the river. It happened so quickly. By the time I got out of the car, he had somehow fallen into the river”, a devastated George explained to AjabuAfrica.com.
A visibly shaken Ben Gathoni said that the whole situation took only a few seconds. “It happened so fast. I still don’t believe it happened”, said Ben during prayers convened at Sam’s Bother’s house in Lynn MA.
A motorist who stopped immediately after the accident said he saw a man desperately waving a brightly lit cell phone as he struggled to swim against the current. “Then he kind of disappeared”, the motorist reportedly said.
George made emergency phone calls and State Police Officers arrived a few minutes later. A massive search was quickly mounted. For several hours the police divers scoured the depths of the dark freezing waters without success.
Shocked relatives and friends gathered on Monday at Sam’s brother’s home in Lynn, near Boston. Mr. Patrick Kaba, the family’s temporary spokesman, commended the Massachusetts State Police for their relentless and daring search in the dangerous, cold and dark waters. “The State troopers did everything they could for many hours” he noted.
Mr.Patrick Kaba, addressing shocked friends and family who gathered at the Late Sam Githiabii's brother's home in Lynn to console the deceased family
The car that the Late Sam Githiabii was driving together with two friends, now parked at his brother's home in Lynn, MA.The scratches on the right hand side that occured when the car hit and scrapped aganist the bridge's protective barrier can be cleary seen
”Initial searches resulted in the police recovering Sam’s cell phone, before they found the body in the grimy river on Monday”, Patrick said. “They then separately interrogated the two friends who rode in the same car with Sam, in order to find out more details that will help in the investigation.” He added.
Patrick also commended the late Sam’s family for showing strength in the midst of tragedy. “Let us try to be as strong as Sam’s family when dealing with the loss of our dear friend and colleague”, Patrick urged the mourners.
His loving parents, Ephraim Gitonga and Mary Wangui both of Thika, Kenya, survive Sam. He also leaves behind his four year old son Joseph Ndungu (JoJo), Jojo's Mother Rhiannon Mazza, Jojo's Grandmother Deborah Mazza, his sister Cecilia Jemimah Njeri, brother Francis Gitonga, sister-in-law Hellen Kibuika and nephew Gabriel Gitonga, all of Boston, Massachusetts. His brothers, Lawrence Muthoga and John Mwangi, are in Thika. He had several other friends and relatives in Thika, Kenya, and in the USA.
Police investigation into the mysterious death is still in its early stages.
Friends and family are meeting daily for prayers from 8pm at 61 Ingalls Street, Lynn, MA, 01902.
Please check the announcements page of www.AjabuAfrica.com for the latest updates.