Tse'Yi'Gai Student Volunteer Junior Firefighter Assists the 8th Annual Angels vs. Drunk Drivers Bike Run

On March 5, 2010, the Peshlakai family from Naschitti, NM were leaving the city of Santa Fe after a basketball game when they were hit by a drunk driver while at a stoplight. The 2 daughters were in the back seat of their vehicle. The youngest daughter, Deshauna Peshlakai (17) was killed on impact and the other daughter, Del Lynn Peshlakai (19) died the next day, March 6, from internal injuries. The driver of the pickup that hit the Peshlakai vehicle, along with other occupants, were fleeing from a nearby restaurant trying to avoid paying a liquor and food bill. Two innocent lives were taken due to drinking and driving. 

The 8th Annual Angels vs. Drunk Drivers Bike Run was held in 2 routes. Route 1 brought bikers from Naschitti, NM around Gallup on I-40 and into San Felipe Travel Center. Route 2 brought bikers in from Farmington, NM around Cuba on 550 and into San Felipe Travel Center. Both routes met at San Felipe Travel Center and together, rode into Santa Fe. Over 300 Bikes participated in the bike run, with one biker even coming out from Illinois to participate. Law enforcement from Santa Fe Police, McKinley County Sheriff's Office and New Mexico State Police did such an excellent job in escorting the bikers and making sure they were safe. Our local volunteer fire department also assisted in escorting the bikers along route 1. 

Our student junior firefighter, Natalie Ramone,a sophomore at Tse'Yi'Gai High school, along with her fellow volunteer firefighters took the day to help out with the bike run.  The bike run kept moving through traffic all the way into Santa Fe without stops or delays. The Santa Fe Police department have been great in continuing to help the Peshlakai family with this annual bike run that is held to spread awareness of drunk driving. Ramone has assisted in escorts before but nothing like the bike run she helped with Saturday. She was in awe of all the bikers who participated. She rode along another junior firefighter and a firefighter in the rescue unit as the anchor escorts along with 2 Santa Fe PD units. Their job was to make sure the bikers and other units were safe throughout the route. Ramone enjoyed the bike run very much! She plans to continue to assist in escorting the bike run as a junior firefighter next year. "It is for a very important cause and I would like to be a part of it again next year", said Ramone. 

Although temperatures were over 100 degrees, bikers came together again this year to honor the Peshlakai sisters and to spread awareness of DWI. It was another successful bike run and the Peshlakai family are already planning next year's bike run. They hope to continue spreading DWI awareness to stop drinking and driving that continues to take innocent lives. 

Ms. Sandoval holds a M.A. Degree in special education. She teaches special education at Tse'Yi'Gai High School in Pueblo Pintado, NM. Ms. Sandoval also coaches volleyball and track and field. She is also a volunteer firefighter and EMR with McKinley County Fire and EMS District 20. 

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