San I. Mother And Daughter Die In Tragic Accident

New Mexico 599 southbound near accident site. Courtesy photo
Staff Report
Valley Daily Post

Two residents of San Ildefonso Pueblo, a woman and her adult daughter, were struck and killed Wednesday night, Oct. 28 on the 599 Relief Route around Santa Fe.

Santa Fe City Police report that the women, identified as Kimberly Atencio, 37 and Kisha Pino, 20, were traveling southbound on the 599 relief route and stopped their car. A third person in the car with the women reportedly told police that the pair were arguing about Pino’s driving. They allegedly stopped alongside the road to allow Atencio to drive.

When the women exited the car, they began to fight and wrestled each other to the ground. At some point the two rolled onto the road in front of an oncoming car, which struck and killed the women.

The car that struck the women was driven by Dr. Mel Morgan, superintendent of Pojoaque Valley School District. Morgan was returning home from a Pojoaque School Board meeting when the accident occurred. Both Atencio and Pino died at the scene.

Santa Fe City Police are conducting an investigation of the accident but initial statements from police say that Morgan was not speeding and it appears he was not at fault for the accident.

Atencio, a member of San Ildefonso Pueblo reportedly is the mother of two other children enrolled in Pojoaque Valley Schools, which Morgan leads. Those other children were not with Atencio at the time of the accident.

When reached for comment, Pojoaque Valley School Board President Jon Paul Romero said, “Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the mother and daughter from San Ildefonso who lost their lives in this tragic accident. Dr. Mel Morgan has been a champion for our schools and has our utmost understanding and support as he deals with this horrific tragedy.”

Romero also reported that the school district reached out to Gov. James R. Mountain of San Ildefonso Pueblo following the accident and that Gov. Mountain attended a special meeting held by the school district Thursday to discuss the tragedy with students who are residents of San Ildefonso.