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Indian National Finals Rodeo champion identified as victim in fatal crash

Posted at 3:58 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 18:45:54-05
Michelle Walking Bear

CROW AGENCY – A memorial service and burial will be held Friday for the Fort Smith woman who died in a crash in Big Horn County on Sunday morning.

Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis identified the woman as Michelle Walking Bear, 41.

Known for her accomplishments with the Indian National Finals Rodeo, the association issued a statement Sunday, recognizing Walking Bear as a tour champion, many time INFR qualifier, and horse owner of the year.

“She was never scared to travel and rodeo hard. She was a great rodeo mom and rodeo competitor. Our most sincere prayers and condolences to all her family and friends. Michelle you will be missed,” the statement said.

Posted by INFR-Indian National Finals Rodeo on Sunday, February 3, 2019

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, Walking Bear died Sunday morning when she was traveling south on MT Highway 313, failed to negotiate a curve, crossed over the center line, and ran off the left side of the road.

The 2007 Dodge Dakota drove over the side embankment and rolled.

Walking Bear was ejected and died at the scene.

According to her obituary, Walking Bear leaves behind three children and many family members.

Her memorial service will take place Friday at 11 a.m. at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church in Crow Agency, with burial to follow at the Crow Agency Cemetery.