Unlatched Gate Struck and Decapitated Ugandan Women’s Rights Activist

The family of Ugandan, Esther Nakajjigo, sued the National Park Service in a lawsuit filed in Denver this month. Nakajjigo was decapitated by a gate at Utah’s Arches National Park. Against federal policy, the gate had been left unlatched.

Nakajjigo was attending a social-entrepreneurship program in Colorado. She and her husband decided to visit the park while on the trip. The wind took a hold of the unlatched gate and sent it slicing through their rented car. The gate struck Nakajjigo in the head and neck which led to her death.

Nakajjigo and her husband Ludo Michaud were newlyweds. He sat there, helpless as he witnessed his wife’s death, something he has called the “worst thing I hope I will ever see.”

Nakajjigo, a native of Kampala, Uganda, fought for women’s rights. She used her university money to begin a nonprofit community health care center for girls and young women when she was a teenager.

She also earned numerous humanitarian awards and created a popular reality television series aimed at empowering young mothers.

The lawsuit does not specify the amount of damages being sought, but the family had filed a $270 million notice of claim.

The park service expressed sympathy to the family.

Ella Breedlove

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