Citizens reminded to buckle up after fatal accident

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La Paz County Sheriff’s Department and the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department issued a press release reminding the public to ensure seat belt use for safety after a fatal accident.

Sometime between 4 am and 5 am Wednesday morning, Kellee Renae Nopah was driving a white Toyota Sequoia westbound toward Parker, AZ on Shea Road. According to law enforcement, the vehicle was travelling with 3 passengers at a high rate of speed when Nopah lost control near milepost 1 and the vehicle rolled multiple times, ejecting the occupants from the vehicle.

Emergency personnel responded after being dispatched at 6:20 am. Nopah and passenger Sabrina Swick were air lifted to Phoenix area hospitals. Passenger Randy Fisher walked toward town to get help, was located by law enforcement near Parker Cemetery in need of immediate medical attention and was air lifted also. Passenger Michelle Harper Ameelyenah was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Law enforcement are investigating what happened. According to the police statement, it is unknown at this time if alcohol was a factor.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Curt Bagby said seat belts could have prevented the fatality and seriousness of the injuries.

“As a first responder, there is nothing worse than responding to a vehicle accident with serious injury or death that could have been prevented,” he said. “We have investigated far too many accidents where the passenger compartments are still intact and had the occupants been buckled up, they would have most likely walked away with minor injuries. In nearly every vehicle accident that we have investigated over the years on Shea Road, the injuries have been caused by the occupants being thrown from their seats.”

The La Paz County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that seatbelts save lives. “Please remember to buckle up,” the statement read.

11 comments

  1. Its so sad that these Children keep losing they’re lives , because of not buckling up ! I lost my Grandson years back and that road still haunts me ! Please Buckle your seatbelts ! I remember the old days when the cars were bigger and heavier and we never wore our seatbelts and its a wonder that we made it this long , speaking for myself ! One Love One Heart !

  2. Patty Saunders Reddicks

    How old were these people?

  3. So sorry for the families. If there is anything we can do please post here. Michelle was an amazing little girl.

  4. Beatrice Ameelyenah

    Yes my cuzin was amazing in so many little ways she was like my sister so plz wear your seat belts.

  5. Veronica Ameelyenah

    Oh thank you,bless you..and Mr.Hamilton, Michelle talked about you all the time, she said you guys were always laughing…I’m glad she got to meet you, thank you for all you done for her…

  6. Just pure stupidity to not wear a seat belt. Or a helmet when riding. Sad for the injuries and certainly horrible news of the death.

  7. Our ‘playground’ the desert and the river must always be respected. We are not invincible-ever. I am so sad, my heart goes out to the families. Much love and peace <3

  8. Tiffany-Ane Renee Moses

    Please wear your seat belts, praying for my lil sis nd the ameelyenah family, Also the swick family.

  9. Veronica Ameelyenah

    Patty Saunders reddicks, my niece Michelle Harper Ameelyenah, was 16yrs old..not sure about the others…

  10. LaVelle Safer-Vega

    Oh my so sad

  11. Shea road is like A race track, with many quick swerves, bumps, hills if you don’t know the road and driving at A fast rate, you are more than likely to have an accident. I lost so many friends on that road due to them drinking and driving with no seat belts and just testing their fate. Still after 1992, kid’s are still going out their and some remain there forever. R.I.P

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