4-year-old killed when mother ran over her with pickup

DISTRACTED: She takes eyes off daughter walking ahead of truck.

November 28, 2009 

A 4-year-old girl died after her mother accidentally ran her over on the side of the road in St. Marys, troopers reported Saturday.

Arlene M. Paukan, 32, was driving a 2005 GMC pickup Thursday about 3 p.m. behind her daughter and another child who were pulling a sled when the mother heard an approaching snowmachine, troopers said.

"She took her eyes off the kids, looked over at the snowmachine, moved over to let the snowmachine pass and unfortunately ran over the little girl," said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

Troopers said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the accident.

"They're really not looking into anything at this point. It was witnessed by people, there's no contradictions," Peters said. "It's very cut and dry what took place."

St. Marys is a village of roughly 550 people near the lower Yukon River.

On her MySpace page, Paukan described herself as someone who enjoys inspirational books and the Food Network, quilting, crocheting and being with friends and family. Family members declined to comment late Saturday night.


Read The Village, the ADN's blog about rural Alaska, at adn.com/thevillage. Twitter updates: twitter.com/adnvillage. Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334.