Joan Parkerson Echohawk, 28, a native of Washington and a former Justice Department employe, and her husband, Thomas Echohawk, 30, a Colorado attorney, died Dec. 18 in an automobile accident in Northglen, Colo. They lived in Lafayette, Colo.

A spokesman for the Colorado state police said the car in which the Echohawks were traveling was struck by an automobile that was later found to be fleeing the scene of another accident. The driver of the second vehicle, identified by police as a 20-year-old resident of Thornton, Colo., was not injured. Investigators said he was held on charges of driving with a suspended license and driving while intoxicated.

Mrs. Echohawk was born in Washington. She was a 1972 graduate of Crossland High School in Camp Springs and attended Prince George's Community College. She was a legal secretary in the Justice Department's lands division for eight years before moving to Colorado in 1981. She had worked as a secretary for a law firm in Denver for the past year.

Mr. Echohawk was a native of New Mexico and earned undergraduate and law degrees at Brigham Young University. He worked for the Justice Department in Colorado before entering private practice in Boulder.

Mrs. Echohawk's marriage to Charles Pence ended in divorce.

The Echohawks are survived by Crystal Echohawk of Lafayette, Mr. Echohawk's daughter by a previous marriage that ended in divorce.

Mrs. Echohawk is survived by her mother, Dee Parkerson of Temple Hills; her father, Richard Parkerson of Fort Washington; three brothers, Richard Parkerson of Waldorf, Md., and John and Steven Parkerson, both of Cheltenham; a sister, Jean Ann Douglas of Owings, Md., and her grandmothers, Rose Arnone of Seabrook, Md., and Agatha Parkerson of Silver Hill.