Norris Ncube, the principal of Indianapolis Junior Academy, and student Malia Siziba, age 5, were killed in a car accident Tuesday morning on the way to school. Ncube's son Sandile Ncube, age 12, is in critical condition on a ventilator, but was not killed in the accident as previously reported. Three other students identified as Buhlebenkosi Anita Nikoma, Deon Sizba and Jessica Senele Ncube were also injured in the crash.
Ncube moved to the United States in 1996 from Zimbabwe, and has been recognized as an innovative leader in the Indiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The fatal accident occurred during the morning rush hour when an SUV collided with the van Ncube was driving, with several students en route to the Seventh-day Adventist K-8 school. An investigation is underway to determine whether a medical condition might have contributed to the driver's apparent loss of control.
Indianapolis Star breaking news reporter Justin L. Mack shared a brief video of Indianapolis Junior Academy pastor Daniel Ortega's reflections on Principal Ncube.
IJA Pastor Daniel Ortega talks briefly about how much everyone at the school will miss Principal Norris Ncube pic.twitter.com/V0Cm0JJ64D
— Justin L. Mack (@justinlmack) October 6, 2015
Madeline Buckley, also a breaking news reporter for the Indy Star shared images of the scene on Twitter:
The driver who was killed was a male, police said. pic.twitter.com/JMzL5zf7gp
— Madeline Buckley (@Mabuckley88) October 6, 2015
Indianapolis Junior Academy issued the following statement on its website:
With a heavy heart, we mourn the events that happened today. Our principal, Norris Ncube and one of our students died today in a tragic auto accident.
This tragedy affects not only those in the accident, but their family, friends, church family, and our community. Please keep our students, faculty, and staff in your thoughts and prayers.
We invite our church family to pray for the four other students who were in the accident and are in the hospital. We invite the community to join us for a prayer vigil to be held at the Glendale Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Wednesday, October 7. The prayer vigil will be held at 7:00 P.M.
During this time of mourning, Indianapolis Junior Academy will be closed through Friday, October 9, until further notice. Updates will be posted on this site and the Indianapolis Junior Academy's Facebook page as to when classes will resume.
According to a media specialist for the Indiana Conference counseling services have been made available. A vigil was held Tuesday night in the sanctuary of Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church at 2900 E. 62nd St. in Indianapolis. About 150 attended, and more vigils are planned for this evening.
For more on the story, see this report from the Indianapolis Star.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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