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Man launches car, passengers into building in attempt to elude troopers

Laurel Andrews
Instead of yielding to Alaska State Troopers, the Fairbanks man sped up, with his 6-year-old nephew and 7-year-old niece in the back seat, and his mother in the front passenger seat. Courtesy Alaska State Troopers

A Fairbanks man was arrested Saturday after speeding off the roadway, his car flying 30 feet through the air and crashing into the second floor of a utility building in an attempt to evade Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska State Troopers report that 34-year-old driver Christopher Turco was driving his mother's car, with his 6-year-old nephew and 7-year-old niece in the back seat and his mother in the passenger seat, on the Mitchell Expressway just after 7:15 p.m.

Turco was flagged to pull over for speeding 83 mph in a 55 mph zone. Instead of yielding to troopers, he sped up.

Turco took an exit ramp off the Mitchell and onto Old Airport Way, but failed to negotiate a sharp, 90-degree right turn, and instead drove off the roadway onto a four-foot berm, which launched the car into the air.

The car flew 31 feet, troopers estimate, before smashing into the second floor of a small utility building, and then falling rear-first onto the ground about 9 feet below.

The impact “pretty much tore the back end apart” before the car came to rest on its four wheels, reported Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. 

Turco, uninjured in the crash, then left his family and the battered car behind, and ran a quarter mile into surrounding woods before he was apprehended by Airport and Fairbanks police.

Turco had four warrants out for his arrest totaling $12,500, all for failure to appear in court on a variety of charges, Ipsen said.

On Saturday, he was charged with failure to stop at the direction of an officer, a class C felony. Alcohol was not a factor in the incident, troopers say.

His nephew and niece were treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for minor injuries and then released. The mother’s injuries are believed to be serious but not life-threatening, Ipsen said.

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com, and follow her on Twitter at@Laurel_Andrews