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1 child dead, 4 injured in Arizona school bus crash

Holbrook Indian School confirmed that the bus was taking staff and students on a field trip to Window Rock, New Mexico.

SANDERS, Ariz. — One child is dead and six other people are seriously injured after a Holbrook Indian School bus was involved in a three-vehicle crash on I-40 Sunday morning.

The school confirmed on Facebook that the bus was taking staff and students on a field trip to Window Rock, New Mexico.

DPS officials said that the crash happened around 9:25 a.m. on Sunday morning when a school bus slowing in traffic was rear-ended by a semi-truck. The bus was then pushed into a nearby van.

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Of the 19 occupants on the school bus, one child was killed and six other people were injured said officials with the Holbrook Indian School. As of the last update, DPS had only confirmed four injuries.

The victim was identified by the family as Kiarra Gordon.

Credit: Falonna Ashley

The family is accepting donations. They can be dropped off at the residence of Albert Clark in Wide Ruins.

Sanders is located in Apache County roughly 55 miles east of Holbrook.

Hollbrook leaders and the county issued a statement that read in part: 

The true beauty of rural Navajo County is our tightknit communities, and each loss is a ripple felt by all. We offer our deepest condolences, as our thoughts and prayers are sent to those directly impacted by this morning’s tragic accident. We also join our friends and neighbors as we work together to support those in need at this crucial time. We send sincere gratitude to the first responders who came together across agencies to aid those in need. Our strength is in our unity, and we stand united in our sorrow today.

This is a developing story. Stay with 12News for more updates.

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Deaths on Arizona roads 

Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that roadway fatalities have been gradually rising in Arizona over the last decade: 

  • 2011: 825 deaths  
  • 2012: 821 deaths 
  • 2013: 844 deaths 
  • 2014: 774 deaths 
  • 2015: 895 deaths 
  • 2016: 952 deaths 
  • 2017: 1,000 deaths 
  • 2018: 1,010 deaths 
  • 2019: 982 deaths 
  • 2020: 1,057 deaths 

ADOT offers driving tips on its website to help keep people safe on the road. 

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website. 

ADOT's suggestions include: 

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively 
  • Never drive while under the influence of substances 
  • Avoid distractions while driving 
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same 
  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over 
  • Stay extra aware in work zones 
  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous 

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here. 

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said. 

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