Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah


Seven people died in a two-car collision on a narrow stretch of road on the Navajo Indian Reservation in southeastern Utah. Tribal Police Chief Leonard Butler said the crash occurred early July 2 on a dangerous stretch of Utah 262 between Aneth and Montezuma Creek, near the Four Corners. Officials suspect a combination of alcohol and high speeds caused the accident. Butler said the cars may have been speeding, but he did not know if they were racing. The wreck occurred about a mile outside of Aneth, a town of 2,700 on the reservation, which covers parts of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona and abuts Colorado. The group, driving in two sedans, had just come from a birthday party in Aneth and was heading to a new location to continue the party, said Leroy Deale, a criminal investigator for the department. The first vehicle, with five people aboard, skidded off the left shoulder then swerved back right and into some sand, Deale said. When the driver tried to get back on the road, a cloud of dust blew up, blinding the second driver and causing her to ram into the first car. The gas tank of the second car, which had one passenger, ruptured and then burst into flames, trapping the driver underneath.