In the early hours of March 31, Mika Westwolf, a 22-year-old Indigenous woman, was fatally struck by a Cadillac Escalade while walking on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 93 in Montana. The driver of the vehicle was Sunny White, according to a statement from the Montana Highway Patrol, which is investigating the incident. White left the scene, and Westwolf's body was discovered around 4 AM by tribal police. Two months later, the Montana Highway Patrol says the "crash is still under investigation," and White has not yet been charged in connection with Westwolf's death.
I am struck by the fact that it is illegal to walk on a Montana highway if you are inebriated. Is it legal to walk on the highway if you're sober? If so, don't we want to encourage drunk people to walk rather than to drive?? Inebriated people shouldn't walk where walking is unsafe for anyone, but otherwise the law just seems like harassment.
This is such a tragic story--a 22-year old woman, with her whole life ahead of her, is dead, and seemingly, no one in a position of authority cares in the least. My heart goes out to her family.
I wish I could join them for their walk. This is such an injustice. Incredibly sad.
The federal government should take over. These guys sound deliberately incompetent.
Thank you for turning your attention to the issues besieging the Indigenous communities. They have been hidden for too long.
I have been alarmed by this since I grew up in Nebraska where I first became aware of the epidemic. The hate, disrespect & disregard for the seriousness of crises such as these is too common & far too accepted as normal by the vast majority of the population. We can point to the media & the apathy of law enforcement but the truth of the matter is that until enough of We the People of the US raise our voices, nothing will change. Thank you Judd for raising awareness of this issue.
This reminds me of the show “Alaska Daily” which brought the story of unsolved indigenous murders to many viewers. Tenacious reporting shines a light that can lead to further investigations, accountability, and justice. Please stay on this story, Judd. I’d like to see Mika’s family find peace in knowing her life’s final chapter has not yet been written.
What a disturbing story. That the investigation is being so carelessly conducted demonstrates why BIPOC community has such suspicion of the police. We often use the term "law enforcement" interchangeably with "police." In the case of Ms. Westwolf's death, it seems that the police may not at all be engaged in "law enforcement." May Ms. Westwolf's family at least receive justice. It may ease the dreadful pain of her loss a bit.
I had no idea that this virulence of hatred for Native Americans existed. The FBI should be involved in this case.
If anyone wants to help, Mika's family asked for people to reach out to the Montana Senators and demand the FBI get involved.
Senator Tester: (202) 224-2644 https://www.tester.senate.gov/contact/contact-form/
Senator Daines: (202) 224-2651 https://www.daines.senate.gov/services/email-steve/
jfc that is incredible.... truly saddening.
Judd, my heart breaks for this woman, Mika Westwolf (such a cool name), her family and community. Also I am concerned for your staff and you. I'm sure investigating and reporting on all of these critical yet somehow negative events takes a toll on you guys too.
Yes, an upsetting story. I also think that naming your children Aryan and Nation is a bit odd......
Mika's Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mika-josephine-westeolf?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer&utm_term=undefined
Please keep us informed Judd regarding this tragedy.
Thank you for writing about this situation.