Crime & Courts

Tow truck driver dies after he was struck by vehicle while pulling car from ditch, Anchorage police say

A tow truck driver died early Sunday after he was struck by a vehicle while loading a car that had gone into the ditch, police said. The driver who hit him was charged with manslaughter.

Police were called to the intersection of Debarr Road and Pine Street at 1:49 a.m. because a vehicle had gone into the ditch, the department wrote in an online statement. The westbound lanes of Debarr Road were closed in the area for repairs on a water line break.

Police said the driver in the ditch was eventually arrested for operating under the influence, and while that driver was being processed at the jail, another officer remained on scene so the vehicle could be towed. The tow truck driver was loading the vehicle onto the truck when he was struck by 23-year-old Michelle F. Parker, who was driving a Dodge Journey through the closed portion of Debarr Road at 3:07 a.m., police wrote.

The tow truck driver was brought to the hospital, where police said he died. No one else was injured and police said the tow truck driver would be identified once his family has been notified.

Parker was arrested and is facing charges of manslaughter, driving under the influence and driving in violation of license limitation. Police said Parker was required to have an ignition interlock device on her vehicle at all times because of a previous charge for driving under the influence. She did not have the device during the crash early Sunday, police said.

The westbound lanes of Debarr Road were closed early Sunday between Boniface Parkway and Hoyt Street as police processed the scene. Police urged drivers to avoid the area.