Crime & Courts

Wasilla woman sentenced to 7 years in prison for manslaughter, OUI in death of tow truck driver

A 24-year-old woman accused of hitting and killing a tow truck driver while she was driving an SUV in November pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and operating under the influence this week.

Michelle Parker of Wasilla was sentenced to serve seven years in prison, will have her driver’s license revoked for 10 years and spend 10 years on probation after she’s released from incarceration, according to a plea agreement signed in court Monday.

In the early hours of Nov. 29, officers were called to the intersection of DeBarr Road and Pine Street for a report of a vehicle in the ditch, according to charges filed in Anchorage Superior Court against Parker. The driver was eventually arrested on charges of operating under the influence, the charges said.

Vulcan Towing was called to the area to tow the car from the ditch. As 57-year-old tow truck driver Hans Michael Moore was loading the vehicle onto the truck just after 3 a.m., he was struck by a Dodge Journey SUV driving without headlights, the charges said. Moore was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries.

About an hour after the crash, Parker’s blood alcohol content was two times the legal limit for driving, the charges said. The section of road where she struck Moore was closed at the time for repairs on a water main.

Parker was arrested on charges of manslaughter and operating under the influence, which she pleaded guilty to Monday. A charge of driving in violation of license limitation was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Parker was required to use an interlock ignition system that could detect alcohol consumption when she drove because of a previous OUI conviction. Police said she did not have the device the night she struck Moore.

At the sentencing hearing Monday, statements from Moore’s wife and sister were read. Parker told Superior Court Judge Andrew Peterson she was ashamed of herself and devastated by her actions, and she apologized to the Moore family, according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Law.

[‘It’s been really hard’: Death of Anchorage tow truck driver on the job draws attention to dangers]

Moore’s death shook the Alaska towing community and in the week that followed, more than 200 commercial vehicles, cars and tow trucks gathered for a memorial service to celebrate Moore’s life and show solidarity with others in the industry. Tow truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Moore had only been with Vulcan Towing for about six months, but coworkers described him as a hard worker and a fast learner and said he was like family.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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