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Driver in fatal collision with motorcycle charged with manslaughter, DUI

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- A 28-year-old driver whose Jeep struck and killed a motorcyclist near Wasilla in early April has been indicted on manslaughter and drunken driving charges by a Palmer grand jury.

Ross Forys, driving an orange 2012 Jeep Wrangler after hours spent bar hopping in Wasilla, crossed the center line and collided head-on with the motorcycle on Bogard Road around 10 p.m. April 5, according to a sworn troopers affidavit accompanying the indictment, which was handed up on Friday.

Forys' blood-alcohol content, measured some time later because he initially refused a blood draw, came back at .20 -- more than twice the legal limit for driving, the affidavit says.

Cameron MacDonald, also 28, and his 1980 Yamaha motorcycle ended up pinned beneath the Wrangler, according to the affidavit filed by Trooper Joel Miner at the Palmer courthouse. MacDonald exhibited no signs of life by the time troopers arrived. He was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later.

Forys, who at the time of the accident identified himself as a surgical tech at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, has since checked himself into a rehabilitation center in California, the affidavit says.

Palmer Superior Judge Gregory Heath on Friday issued a $50,000 arrest warrant for Forys, with a provision for third-party custodian.

According to the affidavit, Forys spent the day of the accident at several restaurants and bars in Wasilla, with shopping stops for lumber, adult toys and a DVD player. Troopers checked receipts and interviewed people with him that day including a friend and a waitress. He had at least eight drinks, most of them hard alcohol.

MacDonald had no alcohol in his system, the affidavit says.

Someone -- but not Forys -- called 911 at 10:06 p.m. on April 5 to report the accident, which was near Bogard and Caribou Street, Miner wrote. Forys' address is on Caribou Street.

The trooper said he got to the scene within five minutes, and saw motorcycle parts scattered in the road and MacDonald's legs protruding from beneath the Jeep's passenger side. Miner said he and another trooper managed to lift the SUV off the motorcyclist with help from some bystanders and witnesses to the accident.

Forys was helping Miner move MacDonald when the trooper said he smelled alcohol on his breath and noticed he was slurring his words, according to the affidavit. The other trooper told him he noticed similar signs of intoxication.

Forys later refused to sign a hospital consent form for a blood draw and denied drinking any alcohol, although he said he "felt like killing himself" over what had happened, the affidavit says. He said he had trouble seeing without glasses, but also said he wasn't required to wear them while driving.

Miner ultimately obtained a search warrant to draw Forys' blood, he said.

There is no indication Forys called 911 after the accident, the affidavit says. Along with manslaughter and driving under the influence, he's also been charged with failure to give immediate notice of an accident.

A roommate and co-worker told the trooper on May 5 that Forys had been discharged from Alaska Psychiatric Institute more than a week earlier and had "returned home for a few hours before leaving Alaska" with help from his attorney, the affidavit says. His family members told the roommate that Forys had checked himself into the New Method Wellness Center in San Juan Capistrano.

MacDonald, a Palmer High School graduate, was affiliated with First Baptist Church of Palmer and "liked anything that had a motor," according to his obituary, which ran in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. He had a son.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.

 


By ZAZ HOLLANDER
zhollander@adn.com