NAVAJO COUNTY, Ariz. - A woman was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, now identified as an on-duty police officer, in Hondah on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation on Thanksgiving.
The White Mountain Apache Police Department says the crash happened Nov. 23 around 3:30 a.m. on Highway 73, just south of the Hon-Dah Casino.
Authorities say the officer and his patrol car fled the scene.
Loved ones say Iris Billy, 30, was killed in this crash.
Iris Billy. Photo courtesy of Roblena Tate.
Officer arrested, then resigns from department
On Nov. 24 at 9 p.m., police said, "Regarding the vehicular fatality involving a pedestrian, an arrest has been made."
By Nov. 25, the Navajo County Sheriff's Office confirmed the suspect was one of its own officers, Josh Anderson. He was arrested at his home in Whiteriver.
"During the investigation, it was determined that the police vehicle driven by Anderson had damage consistent with a collision with a pedestrian. On November 24, 2023, a thorough inspection of the patrol vehicle was conducted and evidence of a collision with a pedestrian was identified. Anderson was subsequently placed under arrest and booked into the White Mountain Apache Adult Detention Facility …," the sheriffs office said, in part.
Anderson is accused of assault, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault causing serious physical injury, criminal negligence, reckless driving, interference with an officer, death caused by a vehicle, and leaving the scene of a fatality collision.
Anderson submitted his resignation from the department following his arrest.
"This is an extremely sad time for the family of the victim, the men and women at the White Mountain Apache Police Department, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. This event is an isolated incident and is not a reflection of the fine police officers that serve and protect the citizens of the White Mountain Apache Reservation every day," authorities said.
The FBI is investigating this incident.
A GoFundMe has been set up in honor of Iris and it can be found here: https://gofund.me/977d54dc
Former White Mountain Apache Police Department Officer Josh Anderson
Map of the area where the crash happened: