Photo: Rep. Keth Ellison (flickr)
A prayer service is planned tonight in Bloomington to honor Jigme Norbu. Norbu is the nephew of the Dalai Lama. He was hit by an SUV last night while walking along a stretch of Florida Highway. The 300 mile “Walk for Tibet” was organized to raise awareness of the Tibetan struggle for independence from China.
According to State Police the accident happened around 7:30 PM. Norbu had been walking with some other people, but most of the group went on ahead to get dinner and Norbu was walking alone on the west side of the highway when a driver traveling southbound failed to see him. The driver of the vehicle and his five-year-old child, who was in the SUV with him, were not injured in the crash. Emergency officials declared Norbu dead when they arrived on the scene.
Police say the accident is still under investigation. However there was a sidewalk in the area and Florida law requires pedestrians to use a sidewalk if there is one available.
In a written news release, the director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center Arjia Rinpoche said he appreciates Norbu’s work to help Tibet and the Tibetan people. Rinpoche and the TMBCC staff will be in prayer today and will host a prayer service at 5:30 this evening at the temple at the center. Later this week the center is planning a community event to honor Norbu, his family, and his work for the Tibetan people.