On the morning of March 13, 2005, local CK resident Heather Lee Meadows, daughter of Greg and Leah Meadows, was driving to work with a friend on I-5 just south of Seattle, when a speeding drunk driver entered the freeway using the off ramp, going the wrong way against traffic, and hit her head on. She was killed almost instantly, while her passenger suffered internal injuries, a fractured skull and jaw, as well as long lasting emotional trauma.
The drunk driver, Ngere Tambwe Omari, had a long list of prior run-ins with the law. An immigrant from Rwanda, he had entered the U.S. illegally, but was granted amnesty by our government due to the civil war in his country of origin at that time. Just a month earlier, he had been convicted of a DUI, was placed on probation, and had his licensed suspended. At the time of the accident, in addition to a suspended license, he had no insurance, and the car he was driving belonged to someone else.
As a result, Omari was convicted of Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, and 2nd degree driving on Suspended License. He was sentenced to prison for 72 months and a release date of April 27, 2010.
During his incarceration, he received extensive medical treatment to repair his crushed femur that he sustained in the crash. His physical therapy, surgery, medications, multiple mental health visits to Western State, and the expense of his translator, attorneys, etc., has cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has yet to fulfill any of his court ordered responsibility of paying restitution to any of his claimants.
In addition to his jail sentence, there had been an immigration hold placed on him during his incarceration. Upon release, he was to be remanded to the immigration authorities to begin the deportation process.
Unbeknownst to the Meadows family, a decision was handed down in the fall of 2009 by the King County courthouse that lifted the immigration hold. When Omari is released from prison this coming April, he will be allowed once again to roam this country freely.
Which of our daughters or sons, Mothers or Fathers will be Omari’s next victim?