Hit-and-run suspect admits driving killer van

A 39-year-old man who turned himself in to police in Ullensaker on Thursday in connection with the hit-and-run killing of 54-year-old Jeff Mwangi Kwirikia has admitted driving his vehicle at the time of the crash.

The suspect earlier claimed not to recall whether he had been behind the wheel at the time of the fatal crash on Tuesday afternoon.

Jeff Mwangi Kwirikia, the father of popular Norwegian-Kenyan singer Stella Mwangi, died from his injuries after he was run over by a van on county road 454 on Tuesday afternoon. The driver fled the scene.

After police made an appeal for assistance, the suspect arrived at the station with his wife saying he had information pertaining to the case. He then accompanied police officers to his parents’ home in Råholt, south-eastern Norway.

In the adjoining garage, police found a Citroen Berlingo van with extensive damage to the front windscreen and the right-hand side of the vehicle. Police had earlier said they were looking for a van that matched this description.

The 39-year-old was charged on Thursday with manslaughter..

Police said the suspect was racked with emotion when he turned himself in. If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to three years, or up to six years if there are found to be aggravating circumstances.

At a remand hearing on Friday, the suspect took back his claim not to remember what had happened over the past few days.

“I can confirm that he admitted at today’s remand hearing that he ran somebody over,” prosecutor Jon Aga told newspaper VG.

Police said they were pleased to have received a large number of witness reports from people who said they had seen the damaged van just after 2pm on Tuesday. The vehicle was seen headed in a northbound direction on the stretch of the Trondheim road between Dal and Råholt.

The damaged vehicle was removed from the garage in Råholt on Thursday for further investigation by police.

The victim's daughter, Stella Mwangi, 25, represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011.

She also recently appeared on television with her father in the Norwegian version of Let’s Dance, in which she was a participant.

“She’s not doing well at all. Stella was very close to her father. She is mainly mourning her loss, not hunting for the driver,” her future father-in-law, Per Rogstad, told newspaper Romerikes Blad on Thursday.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘Take On Me’ tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?

It’s arguably the biggest success in the history of Norwegian pop, and A-ha’s 1984 pop classic ‘Take On Me’ this week reached a new milestone.

'Take On Me' tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?
A-Ha performing in 2015. Photo: AFP

The song combines synthpop with acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums and is indisputably the band’s signature tune and one of the most evocative pop songs of the decade.

That is complemented by a memorable music video which combined live action sequences with black-and-white pencil sketch animated overlays, in what was then an innovative technique called rotoscoping. It won six awards at the 1986 MTV Music Video Awards.

Perhaps the combination of both music and visuals has driven Take On Me into the realms of YouTube royalty. The official video, originally released in 1985, was recently restored and upgraded to 4K resolution to improve visual quality, Warner Music Norway wrote in a press statement.

In any case, A-ha now join a small list of artists with music videos that have tipped the 10-figure mark for total views on the social media website.

While South Korean rapper Psy’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style and Despacito by Luis Fonsi (2017) have famously garnered monstrous numbers of YouTube views, it’s arguably harder for songs which pre-date widespread use of the Internet to rack up those kind of figures.

Take On Me joins two Guns N’ Roses songs (November Rain, Sweet Child o’ Mine), Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in an elite club of just five songs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with over a billion views.

Numb by Linkin Park was the first pre-YouTube video from the 2000s to reach a billion views.

“Obviously the video is unique and it has some features that stand up and stand the test of time,” he shared. “It’s hand drawn which makes it what it is,” A-ha guitarist Magne Furuholmen told Billboard last year.

“The song also seems to resonate with people across time. It’s just very fortunate to have such a big song in our catalogue,” Furuholmen said.

“We probably spent a few years talking it down, trying to get people to focus on new stuff we’re doing. At this point, certainly speaking for myself, I’m just surprised and proud that the song has done so well and still finds an audience,” he added.