The mother of Mika Westwolf, 22, who was killed by a car seven months ago and left at the side of the highway has now been charged.
Sunny Katherine White, a Montana woman, was arrested and charged over the weekend with five felonies. These included vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol, accidents involving a deceased or other person, criminal child endangerment and criminal possession dangerous drugs.
According to the probable cause affidavit, White's children -- Aryan, 4, and Nation (age 2) -- were both in the car at the time of crash in March 2023. According to the Mika Matters site set up by Westwolf's family after her death, Westwolf was a member of several tribes, including the Blackfeet, Dine (Navajo), Cree and Klamath.
According to an affidavit filed by the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Westwolf was discovered dead on Highway 93 near Arlee in the early morning hours of March 31. A Lake County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted White's 2008 Cadillac Escalade around an hour after the accident. The car had front-end damage, and the passenger rear-view was missing. This matched the debris at the scene.
White told the deputy that she was moving her items out of her vehicle and into another vehicle because her SUV had overheated.
White, when asked by the deputy about the damage to her car, said that she "assumed (she had hit) a deer" and "swerved left on the highway while passing a bottle to her baby." She claimed she did not see the deer and continued driving. She was "extremely tired" and "didn't have a good idea where she hit the deer", and her pupils were "extremely constrictive" and "shaky" on her feet.
Authorities found methamphetamine in the vehicle along with five syringes and two unopened packages Narcan. White told the deputy that she had not used methamphetamine nor fentanyl for a week, but a blood test showed both.
The data from her cell phone also showed that she was at the scene around 3am.
After White's arrest Westwolf's Family told Missoulian that the news was "bittersweet."
Carissa Heavy-Runner, her mother, told the outlet that she was "glad to hear" (the news), but was still in shock. It seemed impossible for this day to come.
Mika Matters received a message that said, "The news of Sunny White’s arrest is bittersweet for Mika's community and family." While there is a feeling of relief that charges have been filed, it serves as a painful memory of the ongoing struggle faced by countless Indigenous families involved in the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives movement.
The family of Mika expressed their sympathies and solidarity to all families who continue the heart-wrenching uncertainty, and losses associated with MMIR. The family understands that it is disheartening to see such battles for justice in today's world.
White was released on Sunday from Flathead County Jail after posting a $200,000 bond.
Title: Mom with Kids Named 'Aryan' and 'Nation' In Car Charged with Vehicular Homicide of Indigenous WomanSourced From: www.toofab.com/2023/10/25/sunny-white-charged-mika-westwolf-death/Published Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2023 17:08:29 +0000