Crime & Courts

Man charged in East Anchorage hit-and-run death told police he didn’t stop to help because he was low on gas

UPDATE 10:30 a.m. Monday:

The victim was identified Monday by Anchorage police as 24-year-old Erin J. Bailey.

Original story:

An Anchorage man is in jail for allegedly running over his roommate with an SUV, leaving him crumpled and dying on an East Anchorage street Saturday evening.

Corey Hoppe, 27, told police that he didn't stop to help the man because "he was running low on gas," according to charging documents in the case against him.

The victim died at a hospital of his injuries.

He has not been identified by police.

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Hoppe was arraigned on a single felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid to an injured person on Sunday.

Prosecutors warned him that he remains under investigation and more serious charges are possible.

Here's what Anchorage Police Department detectives say happened:

Hoppe and another man were riding together in a Chevrolet Suburban late Saturday afternoon when the passenger either jumped or was pushed out of the vehicle at the intersection of Baxter Road and Northern Lights Boulevard, near the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Traffic cameras at the intersection captured the Suburban driving over the man from his "chest to his head" before speeding away, according to the criminal complaint against Hoppe.

Police were called to the intersection at 4:58 p.m. and found the dying man.

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The video didn't make it clear whether the victim was pushed or jumped out of the SUV, according to the complaint.

At 1:34 a.m. on Sunday police caught up to Hoppe driving a Suburban matching the suspect description southbound on Elmore Road.

In an interview with detectives, Hoppe said the man "slipped, tumbled … and got run over."

"Hoppe said that after he hit the deceased, he looked in his rearview mirror and observed the deceased on the road," the complaint says. "Hoppe stated he did not stop or call for help because he was low on gas."

At his arraignment on Sunday, Hoppe said he had been unemployed but was anticipating work when the snow began to fall. He said he'd been on food stamps last month.

Prosecutors said it was too early to say whether drugs or alcohol might have been involved in the incident.

Anchorage Magistrate Judge Donna McCready noted his lack of serious criminal history and set bail at $75,000.

She warned Hoppe not to speak as he shook his head incredulously throughout the arraignment.

A family member of Hoppe who attended the arraignment said Hoppe and the victim had been roommates and friends for years, fixing cars and playing video games together.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at mtheriault@adn.com.

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