By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)
Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety (Information)
Sanders, Arizona: A crash involving a Holbrook Indian School bus, semi truck with trailer and a van occurred along eastbound Interstate 40 on Sunday, August 28th, 2022.
Pictures: Melissa (Courtesy)
According to Arizona Department of Public Safety, troopers responded to a crash on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 around 9:00 a.m. at milepost 328, not far from Sanders, a community about 55 miles east of the town of Holbrook.
Investigators say traffic had slowed in the area after a rollover crash that morning.
The school bus was reportedly slowing down when it was rear-ended by a semi-truck and as a result, the bus was pushed into the van, causing a three-car pile-up.
According to Arizona Department of Public Safety, 19 people were inside the bus at the time of the crash, and one of those inside was a minor who died.
Pictures of Kiarra Alma Gordon from Falonna Ashley (Courtesy)
The victim’s identity has not been officially released by authorities, but the victim’s aunt, Falonna Ashley, has identified the teenager who died in the crash as her niece, 17 year old Kiarra Alma Gordon.
According to Falonna Ashley, Gordon had just turned 17 in July 2022 and has three younger brothers; and loved sports including volleyball which was her favorite, as well as movies, and helping with animals on the ranch.
Falonna Ashley said that Gordon was from Wide Ruins, a small community on the Navajo Nation, and was focused on education and was thinking about what to do after high school.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety initially said that 4 other people inside the bus sustained serious injuries, but that has since been updated to 6 people and unclear if they were adults or children.
It’s not known whether the drivers of the semi and the van were hurt.
The Holbrook Indian School released a statement on the crash, saying staff and students were on a trip when the crash happened.
“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. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, our school bus slowed down in traffic near another crash when the bus was struck from behind by a semi-truck. Our bus was pushed into the vehicle in front of it. The bus was transporting a group of staff and students on a field trip to Window Rock, New Mexico. 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 Holbrook Indian School statement read.
ZachNews and the people of the Colorado River Tri-State communities send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and friends of 17 year old Kiarra Alma Gordon; and we send our thoughts and prayers to the people injured that they stay strong and be heal soon from the injuries.