AD Main Menu

Anchorage has seen a string of hit-and-run cases

Michelle Theriault Boots

Anchorage police officers Rick Steiding and Michael Busey investigate traffic accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities.

They say hit-and-run collisions rarely conform to patterns.

"There's absolutely no profile," said Steiding. "It's citywide. Suspects are from the entire spectrum of socioeconomics. It's literally the average person who panics, who has never been in trouble, to the person with outstanding warrants."

While the case of Geraldine Burn is the only unsolved fatal hit-and-run case open since 2004, Anchorage has seen several other high-profile collisions involving hit-and-run drivers in the past two years:

• Hubert Tunuchuk, 28, was killed on April 24, 2011, as he walked on the Tudor Road overpass above the Seward Highway. A judge in October rejected a plea deal that would have put Ashley Bashore, 19 at the time of the collision, behind bars for only a year. Prosecutors say Bashore was texting at the time she hit the Chefornak man.

• Zachary Mohs, 27, was hit Sept. 20 as he walked back to his apartment near the corner of Arctic Boulevard and Tudor Road. He had one of his legs amputated above the knee and suffered other serious injuries. In October police arrested Luke M. Jerde, 20, who they say was driving the Red Pontiac Fiero that hit Mohs.

• Ashley Brotherton and Clayton Wilbanks, both 25, were hit near the downtown Anchorage Pioneers' Home as they walked home from a Spenard New Year's Eve concert in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2012. In October, an Anchorage judge sentenced Tex Daniels II, 22, to seven years in prison for driving drunk and striking the couple. He tried to flee the scene of the collision but was stopped by bystanders.

• Manevan Xiong, 19, was seriously injured in a July 2012 collision in Mountain View that tossed the young mother through the window of her car. Her infant son was uninjured in the crash. Police say Walter Campbell, 45, hit Xiong and fled the scene. An arrest warrant has been issued for him but he may have left the state.


By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
mtheriault@adn.com