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Crime & Courts

Seward Highway head-on crash leads to DUI and assault charges

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: June 16, 2017
  • Published June 16, 2017

The man who drove across the Seward Highway center line during a deadly day on Anchorage-area roads late last month, causing a head-on collision that injured four people, is accused of driving drunk.

Gary Jones, 29, was charged with DUI, reckless driving and three counts of first-degree assault stemming from the May 27 collision near Portage. The wreck sent everyone in the vehicles involved to Anchorage hospitals and closed the highway for hours.

A criminal complaint against Jones, written by Anchorage police officer Steven Buchta, said Jones' BMW was headed toward Anchorage at about 10:30 p.m. When it moved into the southbound lane, possibly to pass another vehicle, it struck a Ford Ranger pickup head-on.

Jones and his passenger, as well as both people in the Ranger, were taken to either Providence Alaska Medical Center or the Alaska Native Medical Center for treatment. Police said at the time of the crash that "multiple victims" suffered critical injuries.

Officers and medics saw alcohol containers in Jones' BMW, Buchta said, and also noted "the smell of alcohol about his person." Two hours after the crash, a test at the hospital showed Jones' blood-alcohol content at .199 — more than twice Alaska's .08 legal limit for driving.

An arrest warrant for Jones was issued Thursday, court records showed. He wasn't listed in custody Friday morning, according to a statewide inmate database.

Two fatal collisions also occurred in Anchorage on the same day as Jones' crash. A Chugiak woman died shortly after midnight on the Glenn Highway between Boniface Parkway and Bragaw Street, when an inbound SUV crossed into the outbound lanes and struck her sedan. Shortly after 3 a.m., a 26-year-old man skateboarding across Gambell Street north of Fireweed Lane was fatally struck by a sedan headed south.

Court records Friday didn't show either driver facing charges in those crashes.