Posted on Sep 08, 2023

Shiprock man sentenced to prison for crash that killed passenger

SHIPROCK, NM - The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that a Shiprock man has been sentenced in connection with a fatal crash on Sept. 16, 2021.

Keanu Marcel Upshaw, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was ordered to serve 37 months in prison.  Upshaw pleaded guilty in April to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Upshaw, after a night of drinking, lost control of the vehicle he was driving while attempting to take another drink of alcohol.  The vehicle crashed, ejecting Upshaw and his passenger.  The passenger sustained fatal injuries. 

An investigation indicated that Upshaw was driving between 69 mph to 80 mph in a 55 mph zone at the time he lost control.  A test taken two hours after the crash showed his blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit in New Mexico.

After being released from prison, Upshaw will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.