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Crime & Courts

Man arrested in DUI crash that killed taxi driver

  • Author: Madeline McGee
  • Updated: February 5, 2019
  • Published February 5, 2019

A 25-year-old Anchorage man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly crashed a car into a taxi while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, killing the cab’s driver, police said in an alert Tuesday.

Investigators said a Mitsubishi Mirage driven by Jose Ibarra was heading southbound on the Old Seward Highway in the early hours of Oct. 14 when it T-boned a taxi that had pulled out from 79th Avenue. The taxi driver, 68-year-old Bruce L. Orton, was declared dead at the scene.

The Mitsubishi caught fire following the crash, and Ibarra and a passenger were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.

A toxicology test revealed Ibarra had both alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, police said.

Because investigators had to wait on the toxicology results, a warrant for Ibarra’s arrest wasn’t issued until nearly four months after the crash, according to Renee Oistad, a spokeswoman for the department.

Ibarra faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, operating under the influence and driving with a suspended license, but officers were unable to find him when they tried to serve the arrest warrant Monday, police said.

Officers responding to a suspicious vehicle call in Mountain View on Tuesday found Ibarra near the intersection of Parsons Avenue and Price Street around 12:20 p.m. He was arrested and taken to the Anchorage jail.

Ibarra has previous misdemeanor convictions and minor offenses, several of which are related to his driving, according to online court records.

The intersection where the crash happened does not have a stop light, although eastbound traffic on 79th Avenue does have a stop sign, police said.