Published November 1, 2017
CHILCHINBETO, ARIZONA – According to the Navajo Division of Public Safety, a juvenile female student was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver as she exited a school bus at Milepost 31 on Navajo Route 59 near Chilchinbeto, Arizona.
“The Office of the President and Vice President is devastated to learn of the death of a young student who was recklessly killed by an intoxicated driver as she exited her school bus,” President Russell Begaye said. “Beyond protecting our children, we must reinforce that healthy lifestyles begin at home.”
The incident took place on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at approximately 4:10 p.m. The Kayenta District Police Department received a call that a juvenile student was hit by a suspected drunk driver while getting off her bus. An Arizona Department of Public Safety Sergeant was on scene and had detained the driver and passenger of the suspected vehicle.
The victim was transported to the Kayenta Medical Center via a medical helicopter. Unfortunately, she died of her injuries.
“Alcohol abuse is one of the many monsters that plague the Navajo Nation and is negatively impacting our youth through both addiction and death. It’s terribly unfortunate that this young student’s life was taken by no fault of her own,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “Every life is special and our children are our most blessed gifts to our lives. We must protect them by addressing the root issue of addiction that exists in our communities.”
Incidents involving intoxicated drivers are unfortunately common on the Navajo Nation. As recent as September, an intoxicated driver collided into a Navajo Headstart bus near Whippoorwill Chapter. In that incident, no students were injured.
The OPVP extends prayers and condolences to the family of the child who lost her life in this incident.