- By Jenna Kunze
A Holbrook Indian School student was killed and six others were injured on Sunday morning when a semi-truck rear-ended a school bus that was taking them to Window Rock, Arizona, on a field trip.
The accident occurred at approximately 9:28 a.m., while the bus was headed eastbound on Interstate 40 near Sanders, Arizona, according to a report obtained by Native News Online from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The collision occurred when a commercial vehicle failed to stop for a backup of cars from a previous collision and struck the Holbrook Indian School shuttle van carrying the school children. The collision caused the school shuttle to then crash into a passenger van in front of it.
The Holbrook shuttle van was carrying 23 people, including multiple minors. Seventeen-year-old Kiarra Gordon (Diné ) of Wide Ruins, Ariz., was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the report. She was a student at the Seventh Day Adventist School Indian School in Holbrook, Arizona.
“This is a very sad day for the Holbrook Indian School community; one of our students died, and six others were injured in a school bus accident this morning,” Ulysses Campos, vice-principal for Student Life at Holbrook Indian School, wrote in a statement on the school’s website. Our concerns now are for our parents and families as we uphold and grieve with them. We ask that you would be patient and respectful as we work through this as a school community, and we solicit your prayers on behalf of everyone impacted by this tragedy.”
The victim’s aunt, Falonna Ashley, posted a message and photo on Facebook grieving her niece.
“It is with deep sadness we announce the unexpected passing of our beloved Kiarra Gordon,” she wrote. “She was a beautiful, sweet, smart & talented young woman who was always a joy to be around. We lost her through a semi/bus accident today. This hurts so much.”
Ashley wrote that the family is accepting donations through Zelle.
“We are accepting donations through Zelle:
Bank of America
Donations can also be dropped off at Albert Clark's residence in Wide Ruins.
More Stories Like ThisInterior Secretary Deb Haaland Visits the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
History Was Made as Nicole Aunapu Mann Became the First Native American Woman Launched into Space
Tribal Business News Round Up: Oct. 4
Hurricane Ian Slams Southwest Florida, But Mostly Spares Reservations
Department of the Interior Announces South Dakota Third Stop on Road to Healing Tour
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.