by US papers
A SCHOOL principal originally from Zimbabwe and his 5-year-old niece were killed in a car accident as he drove a group of students to school in the U.S. state of Indiana on Tuesday.
Norris Ncube, principal of Indianapolis Junior Academy, was carrying five children in his grey Honda SUV when a gold SUV slammed into his vehicle as he exited a street ramp around 7:40 a.m., church officials and news media reported.
Ncube, 50, was pronounced dead at the accident scene, and the five children were rushed to Riley Children’s Hospital.
The children were identified as Ncube’s twin children, sixth graders Joshua Sandile Ncube and Jessica Ncube; his niece, Malia Siziba, in the first grade; Deon Sizba, sixth grade; and Buhlebenkosi Anita Nikoma, eighth grade.
Malia Siziba died of her injuries in the hospital.
Initial reports suggested that Ncube’s son Sandile, aged 12, also died in the crash but officials blamed this on “miscommunication with the hospital”.
The boy was said to be on a ventilator in hospital, his condition critical.
“Unfortunately the death is imminent, and the child has a poor prognosis, however the child is still on a ventilator at this time,” said Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew.
Ncube was taking the children to school when fatal crash occured in Wayne Township.
Police said Ncube was following a green light. They said the driver of the Ford SUV was speeding and driving erratically.
The elderly driver, the only person in the SUV, may have suffered a medical condition, police told the television station. He was hospitalized and in critical condition.
Witnesses said the gold SUV appeared to have run a red light.
Ncube, 50, who served as principal and fifth-grade teacher, doubled enrolment during his two years at the school, local media reported.
He grew up in Zimbabwe and moved in 1996 to the United States, where he received an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and passed the state’s teacher licensing exams.
“He was a hardworking man,” the academy’s chaplain, Daniel Ortega, said.
“He’s a very spiritual man who demonstrates that personally through his care for others, his love for the children and his sincere interest for each individual kid.
“He showed the kids that he not just wants them to be educated, but he wants them to know that they are loved and they are cared for.”
Ncube also wrote an autobiography, “From Dust to the Skies,” available on Amazon, that told of his experiences rising from impoverished beginnings to pursue his dreams. The book says he rose up from poverty, living through “parental divorce, war, loss of siblings.”
Tragic … Norris Ncube and his family