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Canyon de Chelly Fatal Tour-Truck Rollover Described by Blogger; Richard Crowe, Astronomer, Died in Crash

This morning we found a series of blog posts about a fatal rollover crash in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument that has received little media coverage.

The crash of the Korean War-era truck a week ago killed Hawaiian astronomy professor Richard Crowe and injured several others.

Blogger Jim Jaillet and his wife, Mary, were seated in the open-air rooftop viewing area of the truck when it went over a berm on a narrow road and rolled into a ravine. Jaillet describes being trapped for a few awful moments inside the overturned vehicle before he was able to escape.

Before he got out, though, Jaillet whipped out his camera and snapped a picture from the inside. He posted other pictures from the scene as well.

The National Park Service says all tour operations of the Thunderbird Lodge, which ran the tour, have been suspended as an investigation continues. Besides Crowe, four other people received serious injuries and were flown by helicopter to a hospital, the park service site states.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern