Page man dies in rollover

Navajo Times

Police Report, March 15, 2012

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N avajo Nation Police are investigating a fatal car accident that occurred near Red Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 27.

The victim was identified as Michael Mountain, 19, of Page.

According to police, Mountain was a passenger in a car driven by Lane Trevor Big Thumb, 23, of Page. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 160 west of Red Mesa.

Big Thumb was traveling eastbound on the road when he began to drift onto the shoulder. At that point, he attempted to bring the vehicle back to the road but overcorrected, going into the westbound lane.

As he attempted to get back into the eastbound lane, his vehicle fish-tailed, causing it to roll. Mountain was ejected from the vehicle, dying from injuries he suffered as a result of the accident.

Police said that Big Thumb, who was not seriously injured in the accident, attempt to flee on foot from the scene by walking along Highway 160. He was picked up later by Navajo police.

Police said liquor was a contributing factor in the accident.

Fire causes 1 death

The Ganado Fire Department responded on March 17 to a structure fire in the Sunrise area that claimed the life of one person.

Fire officials said the remains of a body were discovered after firefighters put out a fire of a building belonging to Marie Yellowhair. The victim has been identified as Berlin Hildreth, 50, of Steamboat.

According to a Navajo police report, Yellowhair had hired Hildreth in February to help her herd sheep.

The night of the fire, Hildreth had come in from herding sheep about 5 p.m., had dinner with Yellowhair, watched television for about 20 minutes and then went back to his building.

Yellowhair said she looked out at the building just before she went to bed about 9 p.m. and saw that all of the lights were out.

A little later - about 9:30 p.m. - she heard a knock on the door. It turned out to be her next door neighbor who told her the building next door was on fire.

Yellowhair said she looked out and saw the southwestern portion of he building was on fire and called the fire department. When the fire department put out the fire, officials at first said that there was no one in the building.

But a search by tribal police discovered the body in the wreckage.

The fire department listed no immediate cause for the fire but eliminated arson. Yellowhair said Hildreth used a lamp as a light source and kept the lamp on the dresser.

Man in wreck may have committed suicide

Gallup city police officials are saying that the death of Gabriel Desiderio on March 13 in a head-on collision on Interstate 40 outside Gallup may have been a suicide.

Desiderio, no age given, from the St. Michaels area, had come to the department's attention earlier in the day when Tasha Williams, who lived in the Klagetoh Apartments in the west side of town, called police and reported that Desiderio had beat her up.

When police arrived on the scene, they found marks on her neck and bruises on her arms and around her lips and eyes. What they didn't find was Desiderio who had fled the scene before police arrived.

Police offered to escort her to a safe house but Williams said she preferred to stay at her home. An hour later, she was calling police again, saying that Desiderio had broken a window, come into the house and had hit her again.

This time, as police arrived, they saw Desiderio leaving the area and gave chase, which ended up on Interstate 40.

Police went into pursuit with Desiderio going at high speeds until a police supervisor decided to call it off, fearing for the safety of others on the road and realizing that they had Desiderio's name and car information.

A minute or so after the pursuit ended, police said Desiderio went across the median and plowed into a semi-trailer.

Desiderio died instantly. The driver and passenger in the semi-trailer were not injured.

Police officials afterwards said after examining the scene that there were no skid marks, indicating that Desiderio made no attempt to avoid hitting the truck.

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