Family of woman decapitated in 2020 Arches National Park accident awarded $10.55M in wrongful death lawsuit

UTAH, Jan. 30, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The heirs of a woman decapitated by a swinging gate in Arches National Park in 2020 have been awarded $10.55 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim was Esther “Essie” Nakajjigo, 25.

“On June 13, 2020, an untethered metal gate used to control highway traffic out of Arches National Park was activated by wind and penetrated the rental car being driven out of the park by Ludovic Michaud in which Esther Nakajjigo, his wife of 2 1⁄2 months, was a front seat passenger,” court documents say.

“As the car continued to move, the penetrating steel gate pipe struck and instantly killed Esther Nakajjigo. She was decapitated.”

Nakajjigo, a Denver resident, was a human rights activist in her home country of Uganda, and advocated causes such as improving the safety of young, underprivileged girls.

A statement released by Trina H. Higgins, U.S. Attorney, District of Utah, Judge Bruce S. Jenkins weighed the evidence before awarding the damages.

“We respect the judge’s decision and hope this award will help her loved ones as they continue to heal from this tragedy,” Higgins’ statement says.

“On behalf of the United States, we again extend our condolences to Ms. Nakajjigo’s friends, family and beloved community.”

Read Full Article, Gephardt Daily By Nancy Van Valkenburg