This Will Be My Last Blog Entry About The Tragic Accident…

At least in this sequence of events. I expect some time in the future we may have occasion to discuss this event again…but for now it’s time to move on both physically and mentally.

We are planning to depart Chinle, Arizona tomorrow morning and head on down the road once again.

Yesterday Mary and I took our Ford Bronco II and headed out on the south rim of Canyon de Chelly, here in remote northeastern Arizona. I’ll show you the photos that I took, tomorrow. I also wanted to confirm my ability to drive a vehicle once again and I seemed to do okay.

We started out on the south rim trip one week ago Saturday, but after only about 30 minutes called it quits because of high winds and blowing sand. You can read about that day by clicking this link…

In the previous seven Blog entries I’ve reported about a terrible accident Mary and I lived through eight days ago. In case you missed those entries, here are the links…

In today’s Blog entry I want to discuss odds and ends associated with the tragic accident.

First, the remoteness of the location. Here’s a couple of Google Earth images to assist. The dark shadows that look like lakes are indeed dark shadows caused by late afternoon sun coming across the mesas on the other side of the canyon. X marks the approximate tragic accident site location. I was helicoptered up from the accident site to the Mummy Cave overlook parking area where a waiting ambulance took me to the Chinle Hospital about 20 miles distant.

The nearest metropolitan cities straight-line distance approximate mileage is 185 to Albuquerque, New Mexico, 235 to Phoenix, Arizona and 325 to Denver, Colorado.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Next is to discuss the three other fatalities of the tragic accident…our three cameras. Mary’s two and my one. Due to the physical shocks they received, like us, and the extensive amount of dirt and dust they were exposed to, they soon stopped working. I spent about two hours last Monday afternoon cleaning them with the hopes I could revive them. Nope, no hope. Done for…kaput…finished.

The owner of the tour company and the Thunderbird Lodge told us to go ahead and order our new cameras right away and submit the receipts to her insurance company. We did so and received the cameras a couple of days later. Here’s my new camera…a Sony HX200V…

Here’s just one review about this camera, click this link…

Next, I have been unable to find one news account other than the newspaper that reported local resident Richard Crowe’s death. See my Blog entry by clicking this link…

The National Park Service has finally issued a statement about the accident. It is on the News page of the Canyon de Chelly website and can be read by clicking this link…

Over the past several days Mary and I have been interviewed by several law enforcement accident investigators. In addition to their questions, I’ve indicated that everything I/we know about this accident has been documented on our Blog at

Finally, the interest in our personal blog has been phenomenal…in excess of 10,000 hits in seven days. I was unable to get hit numbers for our Seattle PI and San Francisco Blogs.

Tomorrow you’ll get to see all of my Canyon de Chelly photos.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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6 thoughts on “This Will Be My Last Blog Entry About The Tragic Accident…

  1. Donna Parker

    So glad you and Mary are feeling better! It has been so interesting reading about your accident but a bit unnerving too! Please be careful in your travels. Give Mary a hug for me.

  2. Margaret

    So nice for you and Mary that you have been shown such “courtesy” by the Thunderbird Lodge and the investigative agencies. I have yet to be offered ANY compensation for what is a “life altering” experience.” Although your accounts and impressions of this tragedy are heartfelt and accurate from your point of view, I would like to remind your readers and those investigating this event that you represent only ONE pair of eyes and reactions. My experience is much different from yours as I have been left with severe injuries that now prevent me from enjoying my life as I did prior to that fateful day. I am working my way through what feels like the “phases of grieving” and have lost my confidence and zeal for life. My very best wishes to you and Mary and I am so glad that you are able to “go on.” I, however, am not that lucky, but hope to reach that point very soon. Travel safe.

    • ramblinmanjimj

      Margaret, I’m sorry for your injuries and we know ours were not as severe. Mary had a slight attack of depression and we understand that is normal. She feels the loss of not having friends and family close by; we have each other and it has been painful, kind of stuck here in the heat, dust and without space. But, I learned a long time ago, living in the past has no useful function. It is discombobulating to have our lives tossed about and interrupted. And grieving is the right word. That is what we do. Beyond that, we can be bitter and mire ourselves in pity or we can forge on and do the best we can. I hope someday you write me and tell me you are better and have moved to the positive good things in your life.

  3. I was in Canyon de Chelly on the 25th and 26th. Email me…

  4. Karol Straub

    Thank you for these blog posts. Dear friends of ours, Bill and Sophie, we’re with you in the truck. We understand Sophie is still hospitalized with a broken pelvis. Bill directed us to your blog to learn of the accident. How tragic for all of you.

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