Slim Buttes Accident

A Pine Ridge, South Dakota, woman has been charged with driving under the influence and vehicular homicide, as well as five other charges, in connection with a Sept. 9, 2017, accident on Slim Buttes Road north of Chadron.

Record photo by Brandon Davenport

The woman accused of driving during a fatal September crash on Slim Buttes Road has been charged with seven felony and misdemeanor counts in Dawes County Court, including vehicular homicide.

Kimberly Eagle Bull, 32, of Pine Ridge, S.D., will appear in court Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. In addition to the vehicular homicide charge, Eagle Bull is charged with driving under the influence, transporting a child while intoxicated, three counts of child abuse and false reporting. All are felonies except for transporting a child while intoxicated and false reporting.

Eagle Bull is accused of being the driver of a minivan that lost control and rolled Sept. 9. Christina Roubideaux, 6, died from injuries sustained in the crash the next day. Four others were also in the car at the time, including two more children; all of the passengers were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Court records indicate that Eagle Bull’s blood alcohol content tested at .15 or higher, which is an enhanced offense carrying higher sentencing guidelines. The false reporting charge stems from officers’ reports alleging that Eagle Bull initially denied being the driver of the car when they responded to the scene.

Eagle Bull has been appointed a public defender and remains in the Dawes County Jail on 10 percent of a $50,000 bond.

The crash was the third alcohol-related fatal accident since liquor sales in Whiteclay were halted in April. Troylin Pourier, 49, died in July, three days after wrecking a pickup on Highway 87 between Rushville and Whiteclay. Her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit. Francis Ray Rencountre, 46, died after rolling his vehicle on a Sheridan County road; that accident also injured a passenger in the vehicle. Rencountre’s BAC was reported as .283, more than three times the legal limit.

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The Nebraska Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit by the liquor stores seeking to have their licenses restored at the end of September. Supporters of the stores have long argued that shuttering the businesses would result in more instances of drunk driving and alcohol-related crashes on roads leading into Nebraska from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Opponents, however, note that there were fatalities and drunk driving incidents while the liquor stores were still open and called for increased law enforcement in the region.

At a recent Whiteclay Summit, sponsored by the Nebraska Legislature’s Whiteclay Task Force, discussion included the need for a detoxification and rehabilitation center to combat alcoholism and how to create economic development to lift the region out of poverty.

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