The family of a Utah couple is recounting the couple’s intense escape from thieves who chased them with a machete in Kenya. The entire situation was caught on the couple’s dash camera.
While the date stamp on Lauren and Bryant Swenson’s video says 2015, Bryant Swenson Sr. said his son and daughter-in-law recorded it on Friday while driving on a bumpy back road in Nairobi.
Swenson Sr. said the couple– who is from Cedar City– moved to Nairobi two years ago to open a CrossFit gym.
He said they were on their way to a promotional shoot for the gym with two Kenyan trainers when a traffic backup on the highway forced the couple to take a shortcut detour.
In the dash cam, the couple’s SUV comes upon a public transportation van stopped in the middle of the road. The van, that Swenson Sr. said is called a ‘matatu,’ flashed its headlights at the oncoming vehicle.
“It was just kind of an odd situation, as they came upon it,” he said.
As the matatu takes off, three figures emerge and begin to run toward the SUV. The two Kenyan trainers in the Swenson’s SUV, begin telling the two to keep driving.
“Drive,” one says, while the other says, “Drive forward.”
At first, Bryant backs up to get away from the dangerous trio.
“He said that his window was down. And, when they saw them coming, he decided to buy some time by backing up, so that he could get the window up” Swenson Sr. said. “As they were backing up, you can only go fast in reverse and the guy was catching up to them.”
Swenson Sr. said Bryant was able to roll up his window. He punches the gas and takes off as the machete-wielding man reaches the driver side of the SUV, which is located on the right.
Someone in the vehicle lets out a yell.
As the SUV drives off on the bumpy road, the two passengers look back behind them.
“Are they still there?” Lauren Swenson asks.
“Yeah,” the passenger replies.
Later on, the group lets out a sigh of relief upon realizing they’ve safely gotten away. One of the passengers mentions seeing police arrive.
“Dang! Whew!” one of the passengers yells.
At that moment, a gunshot rings out.
“Gunshots…They are running up to them,” the passenger says.
The four got away unharmed, and in a Facebook post detailing the experience, credit their faith for the situation turning out safely.
“I know each of us gave longer hugs when we got home, and we all feel a whole lot more grateful for the Lord’s protection over us,” Lauren Swenson wrote. “Be well. Be aware. Be grateful.”