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NOBTS student from Ethiopia loses son to drunk driver


NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Zemarie Aschalew Kebede, 5-year-old son of a New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary doctoral student from Ethiopia, was killed Tuesday night, Feb. 3, when the Kebede family car was hit by a drunk driver on an airport access road in Kenner, La.
The accident occurred just minutes after mother Seble Telahun Kebede and her two sons, Zemarie and 6-year-old Yashanew, had picked up their father, Aschalew, at the New Orleans International Airport. He had just returned from a trip home to Ethiopia where he had been checking on his mother, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Aschalew Kebede, 37, has been working on a Ph.D. in Old Testament and Hebrew studies at New Orleans Seminary since October 1995.
Zemarie suffered a broken neck in the two-car collision and was pronounced dead at Kenner Regional Medical Center.
Seble, 34, received major internal injuries and is still listed in serious condition at Kenner Regional.
Aschalew and Yashanew received hospital treatment for broken bones and were released.
The drunk driver, Kerry Jackson, 44, was booked with vehicular homicide and DWI, driving without insurance, speeding and reckless driving. After refusing to take a breath test and failing a field sobriety test, he was taken to Charity Hospital where he was treated for various injuries. According to a Feb. 5 article in the Times-Picayune, Jackson had multiple traffic arrests in New Orleans, including one DWI and two convictions for other traffic crimes.
A fund has been established at the seminary to assist with the funeral expenses and the family’s airfare to their home in Ethiopia. Information is available from the seminary’s Office of Financial Aid at (504) 282-4455, ext. 3348. Checks can be made to the Emergency Student Aid Fund in order to be tax deductible. The seminary address is 3939
Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126-4858.

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  • Debbie Moore & Steve Achord