Officer Ernest Montoya, Jr. died while transporting inmate
Officer Ernest Montoya, Sr.
DILKON, ARIZONA — Flags are flying at half-mast on the Navajo Nation in memory of Ernest Montoya, Sr. who served as a police officer for the Navajo Division of Public Safety for the past twenty years. Officer Montoya died Sunday, November 30, 2014, while on-duty in a roll over automobile accident. He was 54.
Navajo Nation Ben Shelly issued a proclamation to fly flags at half-staff on the reservation. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ordered flags to be flown at state buildings earlier in the week and on the day of Officer Montoya’s interment.
Officer Montoya was in the process of transferring an inmate when suffered an apparent heart attack that attributed to him losing control of the police car which left a road and hit an embankment along the highway.
The accident happened while Officer Montoya was on his way to a Navajo sub-station jail in Dilkon, Arizona, about 40 miles from Winslow, Arizona. The inmate did not sustain any serious injuries and has been questioned about the accident, which remains under investigation.
Montoya joined the Navajo Nation police force in 1993.
Ernest Montoya is survived by his wife, Gloria S. Montoya of Holbrook, Arizona. His children: Victoria (Mathew) Philpott; Ernest (Tamera) Montoya, Jr.; Nicholas (Melissa) Montoya; Kaitlynn and Trent Montoya; and Tyler Montoya. His sisters: Esther Bazan; Christina Petzold and Eleanor Chavez. His brothers: Felix Montoya; Bernie Montoya; Juan Montoya; Albert Montoya, Jr.; and Manuel Montoya. His grandchildren: Ethan Montoya; Dustin and Elena Philpott.
He was preceded in death by his parents Felix and Mary Montoya, his brother Albert Montoya, Sr., his sister Esther Montoya and granddaughter Kimberly Montoya.
A Rosary is scheduled for Friday December 5th at 7:00 p.m. and a funeral service is scheduled for Saturday December 6th at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church in Holbrook, Arizona. Interment will be at the Holbrook Cemetery and a reception will follow at the Elks Lodge in Holbrook, Arizona.