Student hit by metal object in stampede seeks justice

Written by By Haruna Umar, CNN

“I saw white smoke coming up. I saw someone who was flying and wanted to stop. I thought he had been hit by a stray bullet but my mum’s voice said, ‘Don’t stop, don’t stop.'”

One of two victims of an assault that left him critically injured, Akiluo Mbai, a 23-year-old student in the British state of Kent, moved around in his hospital bed last month hoping to catch sight of what could have caused his injuries.

“My mom also told me to keep moving and not stop to check if anyone was around. I tried to get on my hands and knees but I couldn’t because of the pain,” he told CNN.

Mbai was walking to a local library in her hometown of Milton Keynes, England, when a traffic cone on the street crushed his leg after he stepped off the pavement. He was rushed to the hospital where he lost two friends and was left unable to walk.

The incident took place on June 15. “I tried to move it and it just started shaking and I saw it was a cone. I looked at my friend who was getting resuscitated beside me and he said, ‘Don’t stop, don’t stop, keep moving.'”

“I looked up and at the top of the cone I saw the road stopped. As I got closer I could see another pedestrian getting hit by it.”

Mbai took a photograph of the cone and posted it to social media with the caption “This needs to stop.” A police spokesperson subsequently confirmed an investigation had been launched.

“People need to understand how dangerous it is to be hit by a traffic cone or any other object, especially in busy streets,” he said.

‘Humble and brave’

His mother, Moys Kenwood, told CNN the incident had completely changed her son’s life. “He’s very humbled and very humble and he’s been a really, really brave man.”

Mbai had been invited to the university where he studies a second year BA in electronics engineering. Now that he is unable to walk or play sports, his dream is to work in digital media.

The student has not let the ordeal take away his sense of humor. “I had a beautiful surprise last week from my girlfriend. I was in the living room and I opened my box to find two girls saying, ‘Yay, look, Moys, I’m your girlfriend.’ I thought it was a joke,” he said.

Not to mention his new nickname. Kenwood added: “His nickname is Momba. He goes on after dark, late at night and places bigger than this.”

Police have arrested three people in connection with the incident. The full report will be released at a later date, and the matter is being investigated by the college and the college police.

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