A 28-year-old Montana mom of two children named Aryan and Nation was arrested for fatally striking a Native American Woman while allegedly high on meth — and then claiming she mistook the victim for a deer.
Sunny White was apprehended in Flathead County Friday on a warrant out of Lake County charging her with vehicular homicide while under the influence in the March 2023 death of 22-year-old Mika Westwolf.
Additional charges against White include accidents involving another person or deceased person, two counts of criminal child endangerment and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Westwolf was walking along Highway 93 in the area of Arlee in the early hours of March 31 when she was hit by White’s Cadillac Escalade that was carrying her 4-year-old daughter, Aryan Holmes, and her 2-year-old son, Nation Holmes.
A subsequent search of White’s Cadillac turned up methamphetamine, syringes and two unopened packages of Narcan, according to an affidavit filed in the case and cited by the station KRTV. A blood test showed the that mom-of-two had methamphetamine and fentanyl in her system at the time of the crash.
The investigation into Westwolf’s death lasted 7 months, during which time the victim’s family led a statewide campaign to raise awareness of her case and others involving murdered and Missing Indigenous Women — and demand that White be brought to account.
Carissa Heavy Runner, Westwolf’s mother, told The Missoulian that she was “glad” to learn of White’s arrest.
“But I’m still kind of in shock because it really seemed like this day was unreachable,” she added.
Westwolf, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, and her brother, Davian Howard, were returning from a bar in Ravalli after midnight on March 31 when for an unknown reason she got out of the car near North Valley Creek and walked away, leaving her phone behind.
Shortly after 4 a.m., Tribal Officer T.J. Haynes came across Westwolf’s body on Highway 93, surrounded by car debris from a crash.
About an hour later, a Lake County sheriff’s deputy spotted a gold 2008 Cadillac Escalade with front-end damage and a missing side mirror parked outside the town of Polson.
White, who was seen removing items from the damaged SUV and transferring them to another vehicle, told the deputy that she had struck a deer and did not stop.
“[White] claimed she was passing a bottle back to her baby and didn’t see the deer,” the affidavit stated.
The 28-year-old later told a Montana Highway Patrol trooper who responded to the scene that she was driving with her two children from Butte to Kalispell for the weekend.
She denied drinking alcohol and said she “hadn’t used methamphetamine or fentanyl in a week,” according to the court document.
White told the trooper that she assumed she had hit a deer and swerved to the left.
Westwolf was hit head-on and thrown in the air on impact, according to the affidavit. She died on the spot from multiple blunt-force injuries.
In the wake of her death, Westwolf’s family launched the “Mika Matters” movement to call for justice through protests and awareness walks.
Earlier this year, a petition was created on MoveOn.org calling on the Justice Department to take over the investigation into Westwolf’s death, claiming that “local authorities are being uncooperative and frustratingly slow.”
Following White’s arrest, Westwolf’s family released a statement, saying that this was “just the beginning of the journey towards justice.”
“The fight to seek accountability, raise awareness, and protect the lives of Indigenous people and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives remains an ongoing battle,” they said.
White is due back in court for her arraignment Wednesday.
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