Crime & Courts

Driver faces DUI charge after fatally striking pedestrian with vehicle in Spenard, police say

Update, 7:15 a.m. Monday: Anchorage police identified 36-year-old Sylvia R. Heckman as the woman who was fatally struck by a vehicle

Original story:

The driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian early Saturday at Benson Boulevard and Minnesota Drive in Spenard faces a charge of driving under the influence, Anchorage police said.

An initial investigation indicated that Ernest F. Gray III, 39, was driving a Volvo south on Minnesota when he struck a woman in the roadway near the Minnesota and Benson intersection, police said in an online alert. Officers saw signs of impairment when they contacted Gray, who remained at the scene after the collision around 2 a.m., according to police.

“Officers are still working to determine whether or not the victim was in a crosswalk, who had the green light, and whether or not other factors were at play,” police said.

Gray may face additional charges depending on the outcome of the investigation, police added.

Police said the victim’s identity will be released once next of kin have been notified.

All southbound lanes of Minnesota were closed as of 3 a.m. as the scene was being processed by investigators but reopened by 7:30 a.m.

“Anyone who witnessed the collision, who has not yet spoken with police, is asked to call APD Dispatch at 3-1-1 (option #1),” police said in the alert.

[Related: Anchorage pedestrians have been more likely to be killed by vehicles in the last 2 years. Why isn’t clear.]