The teenage daughter of noted Pawnee artist and activist Bunky Echo-Hawk died Saturday when a vehicle struck their car head-on as they drove through western Kansas on their way to Oklahoma.
Echo-Hawk, a passenger in the car, was injured and briefly hospitalized.
He was bringing his daughter from Denver to Pawnee for a tribal ceremonial dance, according to the GoFundMe organized by a family member to cover a funeral, medical expenses and recovery.
The Wichita Eagle reported that Christina Santana of Pueblo Colorado was driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of I-70 when she struck the car being driven by Alexie Echo-Hawk, 15, of Mosca, Colorado head-on. Both drivers were killed in the collision, which occurred around 1 a.m. about 300 miles east of Denver in Gove County, Kansas.
Bunky Echo-Hawk was hospitalized with multiple serious injuries to his eye, knee, chest and foot until Sunday, Crystal Echohawk said on the GoFundMe page she created for the family.
“This is a devastating time for Bunky, Alexie's mom and family. There are still many challenges that lie ahead. Due to Bunky's injuries, he is scheduled to have surgery next week and will have at least 3 or more months of recovery. He is absolutely devastated by the loss of Alexie. He will need many months to rest and heal from both his injuries and the loss of Alexie,” she wrote. “… Funds raised through GoFundMe will go towards funeral expenses, the memorial service, Bunky's medical bills and living costs, for it will be many months before he is able to fully work again.”
At press time it had raised $144,598 of a $75,000 goal.
A prayer service and wake were held for Alexie Echo-Hawk, whose Yakama name was Tikáynút and Pawnee name was Pahuks, on Wednesday and a funeral service was held Thursday in the Roam Chief Building at the Pawnee Nation in Pawnee.