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South Anchorage rollover kills teen, injures 2 others

Tegan Hanlon
80-year-old Julie Starks looks out her porch door at the remnants of her fence after a early morning fatal crash at O'Malley Road and Commodore Drive, Thursday, February 20, 2014.
Tegan Hanlon
Julie Starks' backyard was heavily damaged after a early morning fatal crash at O'Malley Road and Commodore Drive, Thursday, February 20, 2014.
Tegan Hanlon

A 17-year-old is dead after a SUV crashed through a privacy fence into the backyard of a condo complex early Thursday morning in South Anchorage.

A 911 call at 3:23 a.m. reported that a Chevy Trailblazer had rolled multiple times at the intersection of Commodore Drive and O'Malley Road. Police believe the driver lost control of the vehicle; rolled it and crashed through the fence on the north side of O'Malley, said Jennifer Castro, an Anchorage police spokeswoman.

Responding police and medics found two males -- the 17-year-old and an 18-year-old -- ejected from the SUV. A 16-year-old female was able to exit the vehicle on her own, Castro said.

The 17-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, she said. The other two victims were transported to the hospital. The male is in critical condition and the female in stable condition.

Police had not released the teens' names as of Thursday evening.

Julie Starks was asleep on the couch in the living room of her two-story condo when she was awoken by three consecutive bangs, she said.

"It happened really quick," she said. Living right next to a busy intersection, where cars frequently line up on Commodore Road and whip into turns from O'Malley, she didn't pay much mind to the thuds.

Starks' husband, A.J., who was sleeping upstairs, looked out the window and saw the SUV stalled on its roof in their backyard, their wooden fence flattened underneath.

He opened the door and Starks, 80, heard a girl crying and asking for someone to call 911. A.J. Starks made the call and within four minutes fire trucks arrived, she said.

Thursday afternoon, Julie Starks said she couldn't shake reliving the crash, thinking about her five children who are now adults.

"My heart just goes out to the parents," she said.

Anchorage School District psychologists were offering support Thursday to students who knew the teens involved in the crash, said Heidi Embley, district spokeswoman. The female and younger male attended different high schools within the district, she said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, Castro said.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.

 


By TEGAN HANLON
thanlon@adn.com