INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 6, 2015) – Two people died and four children critically injured in a car accident during rush-hour Tuesday. Hours later, friends and family of a beloved school principal gathered at the Glendale Seventh-Day Adventist Church to remember the lives lost and to ask for a miracle.
"I wish there were answers for everything but there's not. God will do what god will do," said Harvey Kornegay," senior pastor of the Glendale Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
Investigators removed backpacks from the wrecked SUV at the bottom of the southbound ramp for I-465 onto West Washington Street. Inside those backpacks were the papers and books and pencils and lunches young students need everyday at school.
Norris Ncube, 49, was killed when the gray Honda SUV he was driving was struck broadside by a gold Ford Explorer speeding through the intersection.
“We believe the gold vehicle may have run the red light and we’re trying to determine if there was some type of medical issue with that person,” said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.
The elderly driver of the gold SUV is listed in critical condition.
Killed alongside Ncube was his five-year-old niece Malia Siziba. His 12-year-old son Joshua is on a ventilator. The coroner initially indicated that the boy died, but later said the boy's death is "imminent" and called his prognosis "poor" after a reported miscommunication with the hospital.
Jessica Ncube, 12, 6th-grader Deon Siziba and 8th-grader Anita Nkoma were also injured in the crash.
Family members of the children critically injured were at the prayer service. At one point during the ceromony, they were surrounded by pastors and
"He cared about everyone because I'll be honest, he didn't know me personally and he acted like I was one of his sons," said Johnathan wynn, a former co-worker who attended the prayer service.
More than 80 children attend the Indiana Junior Academy where Ncube arrived two years ago to serve as the principal and 5th grade teacher.
“He brought encouragement and hope to them,” said Colleen Kelly of the Indiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “They just dearly loved him. He started the pre-k program just this year and brought 24 new students to us.”
Toccara Bumphus’ sons attend the academy where she was just about to begin teaching.
“They broke down. Many children didn’t break down. Some are just trying to understand what’s really going on. What has actually happened. And the children…some are taking it very hard,” she said.
It fell to youth pastor Daniel Ortega to tell many of the students about their principal’s death.
“It was very clear that they appreciated Mr. Ncube,” said Ortega. “They knew that he was a guy who cared for them, loved them, that was a good educator, and they expressed that multiple times.
“He was someone who was a friend to them, who was kind to them, who expressed, even in times of discipline, that he loved them and he really cared for them.”