“Driver Charged in Fatal Crash That Took the Life of Indigenous Woman”- Montana
Aryan and Nation, two of the driver’s children from Montana, are accused of killing Indigenous lady Mika Westwolf in a hit-and-run incident in March.
After Popular Information revealed that investigators did not immediately charge Sunny White—who many in the community consider to be a white nationalist—for her suspected role in Westwolf’s death, the story garnered global attention and cries for accountability. The 22-year-old, who was enrolled in the Blackfeet tribe and also Navajo, Cree, and Klamath, was attacked and killed early on March 31 while walking to her residence on the Flathead Reservation.
“Justice Served: Sunny White Charged in Indigenous Woman’s Death After Public Outcry”
However, Lake County Attorney James Lapotka announced on October 18 that he had discovered sufficient evidence to charge White with five criminal offences, including vehicular homicide, drug possession, and endangering a child. The wreckage along the ditch beside the road where Westwolf’s body was discovered is said to have matched the damage to White’s Cadillac Escalade. Westwolf, according to Lapotka, died from multiple blunt force injuries sustained when White struck her head-on with sufficient force to send her body flying into the ditch.
White was earlier accused of endangering the welfare of her small children, who were purportedly in the SUV at the time of the collision, and the charges were withdrawn by Lapotka, who informed Popular Information in May that he required “more time” to gather evidence.
Authorities in the area came under fire from Westwolf’s parents for the investigation’s sluggish progress and for keeping them in the dark about how their daughter passed away. Westwolf’s mother, Carissa Heavy Runner, previously told HuffPost that one particular investigator had spoken in a way that was “condescending, negative, and almost victim-blaming.” She discovered, following the start of an awareness campaign, that the relatives of other Indigenous persons who had gone missing or been killed had encountered comparable difficulties from law enforcement.
“Sunny White Arrested with Multiple Charges in Indigenous Woman’s Death Case: A Bittersweet Moment for Family”
An investigator who searched White’s car allegedly discovered five syringes, two unopened bottles of Narcan, and a small cosmetic tube containing methamphetamine, according to the new criminal paperwork. According to toxicology results, White’s blood was tested the next day of the crash and found to contain methamphetamine and fentanyl, according to Lapotka. He claimed that based on White’s cellphone data, she was at the scene around three in the morning when a car was seen in the surveillance tape approaching and stopping near the location where Westwolf’s body was discovered. Investigators have learned that another motorist reported seeing an SUV pass him close to the crash scene at around ninety miles per hour.
In a Friday update on Mika Matters, the website they established to seek responsibility from authorities in cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR), Westwolf’s family described White’s arrest as “a bittersweet moment.” They described it as “a painful reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by countless Indigenous families,” but they also felt “a sense of relief and satisfaction.”
“Mika’s family offers their sympathies and support to all families that continue to face the miserable uncertainty and loss that accompany missing person reports (MMIR)”.They are aware of how depressing it is that these kinds of legal battles are still required in modern times.
In a petition, more than 43,000 people begged the Department of Justice to get involved in the matter, citing the local government’s “uncooperative and frustratingly slow” actions.
Lapotka told HuffPost that White’s appearance is scheduled for this Wednesday and that it would probably be postponed until she has legal representation.