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.
Thank you for always putting kids first, despite it all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Trujillo Family. “Once a Dog, Always a Dawg.” pic.twitter.com/B98TuCqmBj— Mrs. Ronga (@MrsRongaLCHS) February 26, 2021
God Bless the Trujillo and Apodaca families, RIP Dr. Karen Trujillo, we will always remember you and the great job you did. https://t.co/MJMfYVmv2a— Mayor Ken (@MayorKenLC) February 26, 2021
Heartbreaking. Dr. Trujillo did a lot for our district in a short time. Prayers go out to her family. https://t.co/E9ibRjAKYu— Aaron Ocampo (@Angrybirdfb) February 26, 2021
I'm stunned. Our leader gone way too soon. She fought for our kids at so many levels... Even when others wouldn't. This is nothing short of heart breaking and devastating. Please pray for the family. https://t.co/Zm2xQOyGt2— Mark Lopez (@mjlopezdawgs) February 26, 2021