Police Reveal Cause Of Accident That Killed World Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum
Kiptum was driving a Toyota Premio with two passengers on board; Garvais and a woman identified as Sharon Kosgey.
Police have revealed what caused the road accident that claimed the life of world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum.
Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge while speaking to the Nation revealed that the accident occurred on Sunday, February 11 at 11 pm, which also claimed the life of his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana at the Kaptagat area along the Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road.
Kiptum was driving a Toyota Premio with two passengers on board; Gervais and a woman identified as Sharon Kosgey.
Sharon escaped with serious injuries and was rushed to Racecourse Hospital for medical attention. However, unfortunately, the bodies of the late Kiptum and Garvais were taken to the Racecourse Hospital mortuary.
Car wreckage from a road accident that claimed the life of Kelvin Kiptum on February 11, 2024. /EDGAR WABWIRE
“This was a self-involved accident where one Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his vehicle with two passengers. Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot and the third person was rushed to Racecourse Hospital in Eldoret,” said the County Commander.
Mulinge added that Kiptum lost control of the vehicle, veering off the road, and landed in a ditch about 60 metres away, before hitting a big tree.
The vehicle was badly damaged and was towed to Kaptagat Police Station. A picture seen by Viral Tea showed the vehicle's rooftop and cabin severely damaged beyond the point of repair with only the wheels intact.
News of Kiptum's accident sent shockwaves throughout the sporting world, with social media users including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga offering their condolences to Kiptum's family.
"Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.
"My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero," he wrote on X.
Joining him were Cabinet Secretaries (CS) Ababu Namwamba (Sports) and Musalia Mudavadi (Prime & Foreign Affairs).
Kiptum broke the world record on October 8, 2023, by setting a new record time of two hours and 35 seconds (2:00:35) at the Chicago Marathon. On Tuesday, February 6, the world record was ratified.
He had also been named in Kenya’s team for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and was set to team up with his world record predecessor Eliud Kipchoge.
Kiptum was preparing to compete at this year’s Rotterdam Marathon, scheduled for April, which he hoped to use as a preparatory platform for the Olympics later in the year.
“The organisation is linked to my management. In 2022 I was supposed to run it, to make my debut but a slight injury stopped me. This will be the right time,” Kiptum said then when he was confirmed to be heading to the Dutch city.
The 24-year-old burst into the scene at the Valencia Marathon, where he ran the fastest ever debut over the distance in 2022, clocking 2:01:53, becoming only the third man in history to break two hours and two minutes and setting the then fourth-quickest time in history.
He then competed in his second major at the 2023 London Marathon, where he clinched victory 2:01:25, missing out on Kipchoge’s then-world record by a mere 16 seconds.
Six months later in October 2023, Kiptum finally landed his hands on the coveted record in Chicago, defying the odds by beating Kipchoge's world record.