Tragic Bus Accident on August 28, 2022
Holbrook Indian School is mourning the loss of Kiarra Alma Gordon, a 17- year-old 11th-grader. Kiarra was a talented young woman who loved sports and was focused on her education. She was from Wide Ruins on the Navajo Nation.
The family has established a memorial fund; please visit https://www.facebook.com/falonna.ashley for details.
Six other students were treated at Flagstaff Medical Center; three were released after medical evaluation, and three remain hospitalized in stable condition. The families ask for privacy.
Trauma therapy counselors and chaplains are currently assisting students and staff at Holbrook Indian School.
“I am finding it difficult to find the right words to express our grief on the loss of our dear student, Kiarra. She brightened our world. I continue to pray for our students who were injured and for all the students and staff who were on the bus,” said Pedro. “We have been humbled by the outpouring of love and prayers for our school community. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.”
These are the details from the Arizona Department of Public Safety about the accident: Our school bus had slowed down in traffic near a rollover crash when a semi-truck struck the bus from behind. 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, Arizona.
Ulysses Campos, vice principal for student life
Message from Pacific Union Conference President
August 29, 2022
Our hearts were broken as we received the tragic news of the death of one of our precious students at Holbrook Indian School. Our prayers are with each member of the families impacted by the injuries and the loss of life that resulted from the bus accident on August 28. There are no words to express the grief and loss that come from this tragedy. The community of care at Holbrook Indian School is so important to this unique and enduring ministry. We pray for each of our students, our faculty and staff, and for everyone who has been impacted that God’s great love will be a source of comfort and strength as they confront this crisis together.
Bradford C. Newton
President, Pacific Union Conference
Statement from Pedro Ojeda, principal, Holbrook Indian School and Berit von Pohle, board chair
August 30, 2022
Each student at Holbrook Indian School has a place in our hearts. Every aspect of our educational and enrichment program at HIS is designed to help our students fulfill the promise of their young lives and prepare for the future they desire.
The bus accident on August 28, 2022, which injured six of our young people and caused the death of 17-year-old Kiarra Alma Gordon, profoundly impacts us as educators, parents, and mentors. Our campus family and extended community are deeply impacted by this tragedy. Today our board of trustees joined with the campus family to console one another and pray for God’s comfort. It was an important moment to affirm that we are a community.
Kiarra Alma Gordon was an 11th-grader from the community of Wide Ruins in the Navajo Nation. She was a talented young woman who loved sports (especially volleyball) and who was focused on her education. Kiarra brightened our campus and was loved and admired by her family and her classmates. Our entire campus community regarded her with affection, and she will be greatly missed.
This is a challenging time for our school and for the parents and families of our students. We are humbled by the outpouring of love and prayers, and we seek your continued support. In the love of Jesus we find solace and hope.
Pedro L. Ojeda, M.ED
Principal, Holbrook Indian School
Berit von Pohle, Ed.D.
Chair, Holbrook Indian School Board of Trustees
Vice President of Education, Pacific Union Conference