LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The Las Cruces Police Department is investigating a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on Thursday that killed Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo. LCPD reports police were dispatched to the report of the crash around 5:30 p.m. on the 1200 block of Edgewood Avenue.
Traffic investigators say a Nissan Quest minivan was traveling west on Edgewood Ave. when it struck Trujillo who was walking her two dogs. Authorities state the driver and sole occupant of the minivan remained at the scene and has been cooperative with the police.
According to police, Trujillo, 50, was transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. The two dogs Trujillo was walking were seriously injured and were transported to a local veterinarian’s office.
This investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed. Police are encouraging anyone who may have witnessed the crash and have not yet talked to investigators to call police at 575-526-0795.
Trujillo, a Las Cruces native was also the former New Mexico Public Education Secretary for six months. She was removed by the governor for not meeting her expectations. Trujillo became the interim superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools in August of 2019. It was announced she got the job in February of 2020.
Trujillo graduated from New Mexico State University where she worked from 2010 through 2018. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement following the sudden death of Trujillo:
This is an incredibly painful and shocking loss for Southern New Mexico, for Las Cruces Public Schools and for our public education community statewide. I am stunned and saddened almost beyond words. Dr. Trujillo was, above all else, committed to New Mexico students, and she made a significant impact on the young women and men she taught, counseled and led for decades across different roles. She began her teaching career in Las Cruces almost 30 years ago, and her classroom experience informed her later administrative and advocacy leadership roles, and I know so many are proud to have known her as a colleague and friend. She leaves behind an unfinished legacy of credible service in New Mexico public education. The suddenness of her loss is a reminder, for all of us, to make as much meaning out of each day as we can. My prayers are with her loved ones, with her family and friends and the many students and educators and parents whose lives she touched.”Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
On Friday, the New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart also issued a statement on the death of Trujillo:
We are all deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Karen Trujillo, the superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools and former secretary of the Public Education Department. Karen was a passionate and caring advocate for children and a genuinely warm and vibrant human being. We’ve lost a champion for children, and she will be missed by her colleagues and friends in the education community. I offer my deepest condolences to the Trujillo family and all of those whose lives were touched by her.”New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart