Family and friends are mourning a north Minneapolis woman who was killed in a car crash Thursday after a wrong-way driver who admitted being high struck her minivan.
Ubah Hussein, 35, was a mother of 10 with another child on the way, a recent arrival to the United States and a hard worker who held down two jobs.
Hussein, who was in the last trimester of pregnancy, was buried Saturday. Her husband, Tamam Kharow, who was injured in the crash, is still hospitalized at HCMC but attended the funeral in a wheelchair, said Arif Bakar, executive director of Tawfiq Islamic Center in Minneapolis.
"The community's really in a shock right now," Bakar said "The whole story's really sad."
Kharow is Oromo and Hussein was Somali, but the pair attended the mosque together with their children during Ramadan, Bakar said, and the children came to play on Fridays.
Their children, nine boys and one girl, range in age from nearly 3 years old through late teens, said Saido "Farah" Mohamed, a friend of Hussein's who worked at her children's day care and was once her co-worker at a restaurant.
"She was an angel," Mohamed said. "I've never seen anyone like her."
The family arrived in the United States from a Kenyan refugee camp three years ago. After living briefly in Arizona, they came to Minnesota, where they lived in a shelter before finding a home to rent.
Mohamed said that one of her family members is caring for the kids this week.
Hussein, the main breadwinner for her family, worked two jobs — one at a bakery and another at a grocery packaging facility. She was a quiet person who never called in sick, arrived late or said she was tired, Mohamed said. Her husband drives for Uber and cares for the kids at home.
Hussein's husband had just picked her up from work Thursday and the two were a few blocks from their north Minneapolis home when they saw a wrong-way driver speeding toward them. Hussein told her husband that the driver seemed bound to either kill them or himself, Mohamed said. They tried to move out of the way but there was nowhere to go on the narrow street.
"They knew what was coming," Mohamed said. "They had no choice but to wait to die."
Police said an SUV was traveling the wrong way down Newton Avenue, a one-way, when it hit a parked vehicle in the 1400 block before speeding into the next block, where it struck the minivan and several other vehicles. Just before 11 p.m., arriving officers found several vehicles smashed into each other. The two occupants of the suspect vehicle were hospitalized with noncritical injuries.
Two individuals from the SUV were arrested. Mark Franklin Jr., 36, of Minneapolis, was charged Friday with criminal vehicular homicide and three counts of criminal vehicular operation, all felonies. Franklin told police he was high on PCP at the time of the crash, the criminal complaint said.
Mohamed said that the collision was so loud, neighbors thought a bomb had gone off. Though crews worked to free her for 45 minutes, they couldn't save her baby. People came out of their homes to hold Hussein's hand as she died, Mohamed said.
Kharow, her husband, has damage to his heart, spleen and other organs, Mohamed said.
A meeting was held Sunday at the Oromo Community of Minnesota in St. Paul to discuss how to help the family, Bakar said.
Community members have also set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. As of Monday afternoon, it had raised $36,730.
Erin Adler • 612-673-1781