Shiprock Woman Sentenced to Five Years After Fatal Crash Involving Grandchildren

A 60-year-old American woman driving inattentively in a car, in New MexicoAlbuquerque, New Mexico.
A tragic event that unfolded on the roads between Shiprock and Farmington, New Mexico, has culminated in a five-year prison sentence for 60-year-old Evelyn Bustamante. The 2021 incident, which resulted in the death of one of her grandchildren, has drawn to a close with a federal court sentencing, as confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to DOJ reports, Bustamante was transporting her grandchildren, who were neither secured in car seats nor wearing seatbelts, when the vehicle she was driving crashed, causing it to roll over. The aftermath was devastating: while one grandchild miraculously recovered, the other succumbed to injuries five days later at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

In a subsequent investigation, it was revealed at the Northern Navajo Medical Center that Bustamante had been under the influence of both alcohol and methamphetamine at the time of the accident. This critical detail played a significant role in the case that followed.

After navigating the legal system, Bustamante opted for a plea deal in 2023 which led to her recent sentencing. Alongside her prison term, the court has mandated three years of supervised release, marking a long period of legal and personal ramifications for Bustamante and her family.

In New Mexico, the statistics regarding driving under the influence (DUI) highlight significant issues with road safety. The state recorded 289 DUI arrests per 100,000 drivers. The fatality rate from DUI incidents is notably high, with 8.9 DUI fatalities per 100,000 drivers. Moreover, the ratio of DUI-related road fatalities to all road fatalities stands at 0.3. Consequently, New Mexico received a DUI severity score of 67.5, which indicates a severe problem with alcohol-impaired driving.

The data was compiled using the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “persons arrested data” for DUI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data tool to track alcohol-impaired crash data. The DUI severity score was calculated by normalizing several factors including DUI arrests, DUI road fatalities per 100,000 drivers, and the DUI road fatality ratio, followed by averaging these scores to reflect the overall severity of DUI issues in the state.
News Releases

Leave a Comment