Crime & Courts

Teen charged with manslaughter in fatal 2016 Anchorage collision

A 17-year-old has been charged as an adult with manslaughter in connection with a deadly wreck on Anchorage's Tudor Road in May 2016.

Investigators arrested Laauli Ireland Tosi on Wednesday, the Anchorage Police Department said in a Thursday statement.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said Tosi was arrested at East High School. She did not have further details about where in the school the arrest happened.

Tosi faces four charges: manslaughter, reckless endangerment, no valid driver's license and driving without insurance.

Officers responded to the crash shortly after 3 p.m. on May 3, 2016, at East Tudor Road and McLean Place, police said.

"Tosi was traveling eastbound on Tudor Road in a 2000 maroon Mercury when he crossed into on-coming traffic and struck a 2007 red Subaru head-on," the statement says.

Police identified the driver of the Subaru as 76-year-old Sally G. Herron of Anchorage. A criminal complaint filed in the case says Herron was alert and conscious and spoke to police at the scene of the crash.

Herron was taken to a local hospital, where she died nine days later, police said.

"Her death was a direct result of the blunt force trauma injuries she sustained in the crash," the police statement says.

Tosi told responding officers he fell asleep and had neither a valid license nor car insurance. Police issued Tosi three traffic citations, according to the complaint.

The investigating officer wrote in the complaint that it took considerable effort to contact and reinterview Tosi. They spoke on the phone on Dec. 7, according to the complaint. Tosi said he did not remember much about the crash but did recall telling an officer he'd fallen asleep while driving, the complaint says.

Last week, the investigator spoke with Tosi's father, who shares the name Laauli Tosi. The father said his son did not have permission to drive the recently purchased Mercury, and his son had failed a driver's license test, according to the complaint.

The elder Tosi declined to comment on the case. His son's defense lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said the younger Tosi's charge fell under what prosecutors refer to as "auto waiver."

Alaska law says if someone is charged with an unclassified felony or class A felony for a crime against a person, including manslaughter, the defendant is no longer treated as a juvenile if they're 16 or 17.

Prosecutors exercise some flexibility in cases similar to Tosi's, Campion said, but typically if the evidence shows a driver acted recklessly and killed a person with a vehicle, those are treated as manslaughters.

"And that's our decision at this point, but we haven't made a final charging decision in that nothing has been presented to a grand jury. That process started today, and we're looking more closely at the case," Campion said.

Anchorage District Court Judge Gregory Motyka set Tosi's bail total at $1,000 on Wednesday when police applied for the arrest warrant. That bail amount was not adjusted during an initial hearing Thursday.

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