Local

Boise refugee community, supporters mourn two members who died in E. Idaho car crash

A Boise couple and two friends were on their way to a wedding in Utah on Saturday when they were involved in a rollover crash on Interstate 84, the pastor of their church told the Statesman.

Rose Uwimana, 47, and Kabura Meliki, 62, were killed in the crash, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. near Malta, southeast of Burley, according to Idaho State Police.

Meliki’s wife, Victoria Nsabimana, 49, and John Bisengimana, 35, were both injured in the crash. They were listed in good condition Tuesday at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Police said Bisengimana was at the wheel of a 2005 Nissan Xterra headed east on I-84 when he drove off the left side of the highway. He overcorrected, police said, and the SUV came back onto the road and then off again, rolling and coming to a rest facing west in the eastbound lanes.

All four were members of Light Mission Pentecostal Church in Boise, and they were at church Saturday before leaving for Utah, Pastor Onesphore Ntakarutimana said. The church has about 40 to 50 members, most of whom are refugees from Burundi, Congo and Rwanda.

Church members and other community supporters are rallying to the aid of the families, providing child care, food, donations for funeral expenses, emotional support and prayers, Ntakarutimana said.

Uwimana, originally from Congo, is survived by seven children, including four who are still in school and two who are in college.

“Right now the kids are home, and there are people who are there with them,” Ntakarutimana said. He said the same was true at the home of Meliki and Nsabimana, who have six children in Boise.

Uwimana worked at a uniform cleaning company in Nampa. She and her kids lived in Nampa before moving to Boise, and they were very active in Trinity Lutheran Church there.

“She’s a woman of deep faith and love,” Trinity Lutheran Pastor Meggan Manlove said of Uwimana. “Her children are beautiful, inside and out ... I think I’ll remember her smile and her hugs. Once she found her way, we were all able to experience the deep joy that she has.”

Manlove said her congregation plans to help gather clothing and school supplies for Uwimana’s two youngest girls.

Meliki, who was from Burundi, did not speak English, Ntakarutimana said, but he was able to find and keep a job in machine works.

“Since he got here, he had a job. He was a hard worker,” Ntakarutimana said.

  Comments