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August 25
06:35 2017

Update: Fridau 8/25/17: 

There was apparently alcohol involved in the crash earlier this week that claimed the life of a Navajo Police Officer.

Kayenta Police officer Nelson Martin, 39, was killed Monday night on US 89 north of Flagstaff in Gray Mountain. Martin was the passenger in a pickup truck that was driven by Rosales Yazzie.

The pair was traveling Northbound on 89 when they collided with a semi tractor trailer. Yazzie, the driver, was injured and is currently recovering. Sadly, reports indicate that Yazzie was under the influence of alcohol when the crash occurred.

Mr. Yazzie could be facing a vehicular manslaughter charge if he is charged and found guilty.

Navajo police officers will accompany Martin’s funeral procession, while officers from the Tuba City Navajo Police district will supply a 21-gun salute at the funeral, which will take place Saturday at 10 AM. Services will be at the Church of Jesus Christ  Latter Day Saints in Tsébii’ndzisgaii, Utah.


KAYENTA – The Navajo Nation mourns the passing of Senior Police Officer Nelson Martin who died in an off-duty automobile accident on Aug. 21. Martin was a valued member of the Kayenta Police Department and his loss is a shock to the community and the Navajo Nation as a whole.

“For one to lose his life in the way Officer Nelson Martin did is tragic and something we want to avoid as much as possible,” President Russell Begaye said. “We offer our condolences to the family and we know that not only you, but the community and the Nation will miss him greatly.”

As a member of the strategic reaction team and as a school resource officer, Martin worked in collaboration with the Kayenta Unified School District to provide security, prevent crime, and create a safe environment for our schoolchildren.

“The brave group of men and women in law enforcement undertake the tremendous challenge of serving and protecting the public,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “Thank you to all of our police officers for their service. Thank you, Officer Martin.”

Martin will be remembered as a kind and thoughtful man with a wonderful sense of humor. He was well-respected in the community and within his department where he worked since 2002. His presence will surely be missed.

In speaking to the family, friends and loved ones of Officer Martin, Navajo Nation Chief of Police Phillip Francisco said, “During the time of mourning, know that we are with you. The upcoming future will test Officer Martin’s family and our Department. We ask for your prayers and support as we navigate this difficult time.”

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