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New Mexico

Family, colleagues say LCPS superintendent’s death is an ‘unimaginable loss’

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Family, community members and colleagues said Friday they were dealing with "an unimaginable loss" following the death of Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo

The 50-year-old Trujillo, at the helm of LCPS since 2019 and a former head of the state Public Education Department, was struck by a minivan and killed while walking her dogs in her neighborhood on Thursday evening.

“This is an unimaginable loss,” LCPS Chief of Staff Sean Barham told reporters at a news conference alongside other school district leaders, police and Trujillo family members.

He called Trujillo a "selfless champion for educators and an advocate for students" who would be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched as a longtime educator.

Police said Friday that their investigation into Trujillo's death was on-going, but they indicated the minivan’s driver had stopped and was cooperating with detectives.

Her husband, Ben Trujillo, told reporters that the "outpouring of support" he and the couple's three children had received from the community "has been so special, and all the prayers too."

He described his wife's death as an "accident" and expressed no animus toward the minivan driver.

"For the young man involved in this, pray for him too. Accidents are accidents... Karen would want us all to move forward," her husband said.

A memorial scholarship in Karen Trujillo’s name will be set up at her alma mater, New Mexico State University. That's where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees as well as her doctorate in education.

You can watch the entire news conference in the video player below.

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Jim Parker

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

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