World marathon record holder dies with his coach in a car crash in Kenya

The Marathon world record holder, Kelvin Kiptum has died, following a car crash in Kenya.

The news came that he passed away on Sunday, February 11, at the age of 24 in his native Kenya, with his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, 37, also killed in the road accident near Kaptagat, an area in the south-west of the country used as a training base for distance runners.

From news online, a female passenger, Sharon Chepkemoi, 32, survived the incident after being taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

According to Kenneth Kimaiyo, one of the first responders at the crash site – via Nation, Kiptum’s body was found under the vehicle with the runner already dead, and Hakizimana still alive on a hill.

He said he saw a man on a motorbike helping Chepkemoi at the scene, who was screaming for help and taken to Sanvanis Dispensary before being transferred to MTRH.

‘We tried to save the coach because he was still breathing, but he died immediately,’ Kimaiyo, who added that he had known Kiptum for a long time because he would often visit his shop in Chepkorio, said.

‘Kiptum was laying under he car with his seat belt ripped and he was already dead,’ he revealed.

The newspaper adds that Kiptum lost control of his vehicle at Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.

Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya, said the vehicle veered off the road into a ditch before hitting a big tree 60 metres from the main road.

He said that the bodies were taken to the hospital for an autopsy which will begin after the families had been briefed and ‘all agreements are done’.

He added that the accident happened at 8pm GMT on Sunday, 11pm local time, and that the vehicle was ‘extensively damaged’ and towed to a local police station for ‘inspection and police further action’.

Police commander for Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya Peter Mulinge confirmed that the two men that died ‘on the spot’ were Kiptum and Hakizimana, with Coe leading the tributes to the 24-year-old.

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