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Start of fun night ends badly, one dead

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No one is talking about when the fun night started for five individuals last Saturday, Oct. 14, but by about 6 pm the fun was over, leaving one dead, one hospitalized in Albuquerque, and one locked up at the McKinley County Detention Center on a charge of Homicide by Vehicle.

Multiple calls were received at Metro Dispatch almost before the dust of the rollover accident with five people inside the Suburban had settled. Four witnesses were still on scene when the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office deputies showed up to fill out witness statements and to investigate the scene.

Two of the occupants were ejected, with Danny Yazzie dead at the scene and Darren Yazzie airlifted to UNM hospital in Albuquerque with serious injuries.

The woman identified as the driver, Betrina Grey, 26, of Pinedale, N.M., at first told Deputy Garylle James there had been a sixth occupant, an unknown woman who was driving but ran away after the crash. Later she changed her story to implicate the dead man as the driver, but another passenger told a more truthful story and put the responsibility back on Grey’s shoulders.

Grey was transported to Gallup Indian Medical Center by MedStar Ambulance with one of her passengers. A search warrant for a blood draw, to determine if Grey was impaired while driving, was  signed by Magistrate Judge Cynthia Sanders.

According to the report, one witness saw the Suburban when it swerved out of control and rolled over, ejecting the two passengers. She also saw Grey get out of the driver’s seat.

Two other witnesses were also on scene and both had called 911.

The male witness said he saw Grey trying to run away, but she was stopped by an unknown female. The female witness reported seeing a female sitting in the driver’s seat of the crashed vehicle.

The remaining occupant, Cindy Yazzie, was was extricated from the vehicle by the volunteer firefighters of Ft. Wingate and transported to GIMC.

A helicopter from Care Flight arrived to transport the badly injured man to Albuquerque. Grey was transported by a police unit to MCDC and booked for Homicide by Vehicle. She could face imprisonment of up to 20 years.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent