CHILCHINBETO, Ariz. — According to the Navajo Division of Public Safety, a girl was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver Oct. 31 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,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “Beyond protecting our children, we must reinforce that healthy lifestyles begin at home.”
The incident took place Oct. 31 at approximately 4:10 p.m. The Kayenta District Police Department received a call that a juvenile female student was hit by a suspected drunk driver while getting off her bus.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety Sergeant was on scene and detained the driver and passenger of the suspected vehicle.
The victim was transported to the Kayenta Medical Center via a medical helicopter. She died of her injuries.
The OPVP said incidents involving intoxicated drivers are common on the Navajo Nation. In September, an intoxicated driver collided into a Navajo Head Start bus near Whippoorwill Chapter. In that incident, no students were injured.
The administration extended their prayers and condolences to the family of the child who lost her life in this incident.
“Alcohol abuse is one of the many monsters that plague the Navajo Nation and is negatively impacting our youth through both addiction and death,” said Vice President Jonathan Nez. “It’s terribly unfortunate that this young student’s life was taken by no fault of her own. 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.”