Canyon de Chelly Fatal Tour-Truck Rollover Described by Blogger; Richard Crowe, Astronomer, Died in Crash

Categories: News

jailet jim after truck accident.JPG
Jim Jaillet in a photo taken by his wife moments after last weekend's fatal tour-truck rollover in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

This morning we found a series of blog posts about a fatal rollover crash in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument that has received little media coverage.

The crash of the Korean War-era truck a week ago killed Hawaiian astronomy professor Richard Crowe and injured several others.

Blogger Jim Jaillet and his wife, Mary, were seated in the open-air rooftop viewing area of the truck when it went over a berm on a narrow road and rolled into a ravine. Jaillet describes being trapped for a few awful moments inside the overturned vehicle before he was able to escape.

crowe richard astronomer death.JPG
Image: Family picture submitted to
Richard Crowe, astronomy professor for the University of Hawaii, died in the Memorial Day-weekend crash at Canyon de Chelly.
Before he got out, though, Jaillet whipped out his camera and snapped a picture from the inside. He posted other pictures from the scene as well.

The National Park Service says all tour operations of the Thunderbird Lodge, which ran the tour, have been suspended as an investigation continues. Besides Crowe, four other people received serious injuries and were flown by helicopter to a hospital, the park service site states.

canyon de chelly.JPG
Image: National Park Service
A cliff dwelling in Canyon de Chelly.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Simon Vall
Simon Vall

Richard Crowe was a truly inspirational astronomer and professor and will truly be missed, his spirit will continue to thrive forever. 


I was in Canyon de Chelly on the 25th of May. I didn't see this event, but I did stay at the Thunderbird Lodge and had a run-in with one of their tour guides and found them all to be less than professional.


Those trucks are HUGE.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault