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New Mexico

LCPS leader struck by van, killed while dog walking

karen trujillo
LCPS Superintendent Karen Trujillo

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — A woman walking her dogs in her neighborhood was struck by a minivan and killed Thursday evening, Las Cruces police said.

Multiple sources, including members of the woman’s family, identified the victim to ABC-7 as Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo.

LCPD and LCPS did not immediately confirm her identity.

The deadly incident happened about 5:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of Edgewood Avenue in the city’s Elks Neighborhood.

Police said the minivan driver had stayed at the scene and was cooperating with authorities.

Investigators were seeking witnesses to the incident and asked that any who hadn’t talked with police already contact them at (575) 526-0795.

Trujillo began her career as an educator in 1993, according to an LCPS online biography. After teaching at Las Cruces High, she returned to New Mexico State University to earn her Ph.D. In later years, she taught at Cobre High School and Hot Springs High School.

She also served as the administrator for Las Cruces Catholic School. Trujillo then worked at Alma D'Arte and NMSU. Shortly after being elected to the Doña Ana County Commission in 2018, she was appointed secretary of New Mexico's Public Education Department.

After leaving the PED, she served as the interim superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools. She held that role for six months before earning a two-year contract as superintendent in February 2020.

On Friday morning, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote that Trujillo's loss is "an incredibly painful and shocking loss for Southern New Mexico, for Las Cruces Public Schools and for our public education community statewide."

"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," the governor wrote in a statement. "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."

Many Borderland educators and others also took to Twitter to express their condolences.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.


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