The students and teachers from Bethlehem College who went
to Kenya. Photo / Facebook
Bethlehem College has revealed the Kenyan bus driver
killed in a road accident nearly two weeks ago, wasn't actually
driving at the time of the crash.
At a press conference at Bethlehem College this afternoon, it
was revealed that David Fellows, who graduated last year, was
It was initially reported that Kenyan local Christopher
Mmata, a Kenyan local, was the driver.
Mr Mmata died in the crash.
It is understood that the actual driver, Mr Fellows, was not
significantly injured in the crash and returned home to
Tauranga with the first group last week.
He is currently believed to be in Tauranga.
The board of trustees of Bethlehem College is launching an
The crash also claimed the lives of Brian Johnston, his wife
Grace and 19-year-old Caitlin Dickson.
The college says there was a driver swap just before the
It is understood that Mr Fellows took responsibility for
driving the minivan at the scene.
However the Bethlehem College liaison representative in
Kenya, Calvine Ominde, arrived at the accident and presumed
Mr Mmata had been driving as Mr Mmata was found lying outside
the van at the driver's side, Bethlehem College principal
Eoin Crosbie today told media.
"In the mayhem and chaos of the accident scene, Calvine
concentrated on the dying and injured. This continued to be
his focus in the days that followed. Over that time,
information was released that wrongly named Christopher as
"The college has apologised to the affected families,
acknowledging that there should never have been a driver
swap. We are also very sad for the family of Christopher
Mmata that he was originally attributed as the driver."
Mr Crosbie said that he only learned of the driver swap on
Saturday after the Johnstons' funeral. This information was
verified on Sunday and the families were informed yesterday.
Mr Crosbie added that New Zealand police were also informed
as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The reason for the driver swap is unclear.
"It appears that on the relatively short journey from a
nearby school to the village where they were staying, there
was a driver swap. This was prearranged between Christopher
"After a few minutes of driving, David lost control and the
accident occurred. Those who remember the crash say there
were no concerns. He holds a full NZ licence."