On the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 11, an intoxicated driver collided his vehicle into a Whippoorwill Headstart school bus approximately a mile south of the Whippoorwill Chapter House.
At the scene of the accident, the school bus was on the west side of the road and the other vehicle was on the east side of the road. Navajo Nation Police Officer Nikela Simeona, who was dispatched to the scene, immediately checked on the school bus. The officer reported that all seven children on the bus were okay.
The officer checked on the other vehicle and noticed two male passengers. One was still in the vehicle and slightly bleeding from his forehead. The other was outside the vehicle lying on his back. The person outside the vehicle was breathing but unresponsive to verbal command. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.
Eyewitness accounts stated that the driver of the vehicle ran off from the location and headed east of the scene. Another eyewitness told the officer that a person was lying down in the wash just west of the scene.
Upon checking, Officer Simeona and Criminal Investigator Benny Jim detained the person lying in the ditch. Two people in the area identified the person lying in the ditch as the driver.
A medical unit transported the two passengers. The driver didn’t need medical attention.
Of the seven children on the bus, four were immediately picked up by their guardians and were not able to be transported to the hospital by the school. The school took the remaining three children to the hospital to be checked for medical injury.
The Navajo Police Department arrested the driver, Virgil Yellowhorse, 33, for driving under the influence of alcohol, seven counts of endangerment to the welfare of a minor, and nine counts of aggravated battery.
The passengers of the vehicle, Jarvis Yellowhorse and Myron Bowe, were arrested for public intoxication.