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Family of Anchorage woman killed by school snowplower sues district

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Published February 7, 2018

The family of a 57-year-old woman killed by a snowplow truck at Begich Middle School is suing the Anchorage School District.

Begich Middle School, photographed Jan. 27, 2016. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Anica Sofron died in January 2016 while returning from an evening walk with her chow mix. The flatbed plow truck driver struck and killed her as he backed up, according to the lawsuit. Sofron was wearing dark clothes at the time.

Sofron's son last month filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the district for allowing the truck to operate without safety measures.

The suit is seeking more than $100,000 in damages to be proven at trial.

School district spokeswoman Catherine Esary said Wednesday that she couldn't comment on the lawsuit because of district policies.

The suit claims the truck's backup alarm was disabled and the driver wasn't using rear-facing spotlights. The truck also didn't have a light or reflective device that displays "yellow light for 100 feet in all directions" on the upper corner of the plow blade as required by Alaska law, it contends.

Sofron, a self-employed interior designer, became a grandmother four months before she died, according to her obituary. She was born in Romania and moved to Alaska in 1991.

She started walking her dog, Red, just before 10 p.m. after parking at the school, according to the lawsuit. A surveillance camera shows her apparently headed back to the car before the plow truck rolls over her.

The truck's driver, who stayed in the parking lot after calling 911, told police he knew the backup alarm wasn't working, according to the complaint.

The dog was also injured but survived.

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