On December 23, 2012 at 1759 hours deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 124 milepost on U.S. Hwy 550 for the report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident. Emergency crews responded to the scene but the pedestrian, 28 year-old Nathan Sylvester of Bloomfield, NM was pronounced deceased.
The roadway was clear and dry and it was dark at the time of the collision. Initial investigation revealed that the 2007 GMC truck was southbound and the pedestrian collided with the passenger side of the vehicle. The driver of involved vehicle, 35 year-old Todd Begay of Aztec, NM reported that he had been traveling southbound in the outside lane when the pedestrian stumbled into his lane of travel. Begay was unable to avoid the pedestrian and he was struck by the passenger side mirror of the vehicle. Begay reported was not initially sure what he had struck, thinking it was an animal. It wasn’t until he turned around to check that he saw it was in fact a person. Begay immediately called 911 and began CPR efforts.
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office traffic reconstructionists are investigating the crash. While the sobriety of Sylvester is currently unknown, several cans of alcohol, some empty and some unopened, were located on his person. His toxicology is pending results from the Office of the Medical Examiner (OMI).
Begay exhibited no signs of impairment and there are no indications of foul play. The investigation is ongoing.