Victor Sila of SF-based funk group Sila and the Afrofunk Experience told the Express today through email that he was involved in a triple-rollover car accident in the wilds of Kenya during the middle of the night on January 29. Sila, who was in the country to visit family, was riding in the vehicle with his sister and a couple friends when its front two tires burst, causing it to roll three times before resting upside down near the edge of a cliff. The passengers suffered only minor injuries. Further details about the cause of the burst tires or the speed at which the car was traveling are unknown at this time. Sila did report that he was the only one not wearing a seatbelt.
Sila went on to explain that he and the other passengers hung upside down in the car "for what seemed like an eternity fearing for our lives" -- not only because of the accident, but also because of stories he'd heard about criminals in Kenya staging accidents such as this in order to rob the victims as they lie helpless. He also worried that "ordinary people" may seize the opportunity to rob Sila and his family and friends.
According to Sila, numerous cars drove by without stopping, while a few drivers paused to ask questions without offering any assistance. Finally, a British man who came across the upturned vehicle stopped and helped to open its back door. He stayed at the scene until police arrived. The car was totalled, and police were shocked that injuries had not been more severe.
"Surviving an accident like that has taught me a valuable lesson: kindness and generosity to your fellow man/woman is good karma," wrote Sila at the end of his email. "Life is short, live it up and dance." Words of wisdom from a lucky man who was recently featured on the cover of the San Francisco Examiner. Also: Probably best to avoid driving through the wilds of Kenya in the middle of the night.