Crime & Courts

32-year-old man on skateboard died after SUV hit him near Merrill Field, Anchorage police say

A 32-year-old man died early Sunday morning after he was struck by an SUV while skateboarding near Merrill Field, the Anchorage Police Department said.

Zachary J. Bourdon died at the scene, near East Fifth Avenue and Unga Street, police said in an online statement Tuesday.

Police were called to the area just after 3 a.m. Multiple witnesses reported watching an SUV hit Bourdon and continue driving, according to a charging document signed by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Heibel on Sunday.

A witness described seeing the vehicle “fishtail after it hit the decedent, regain control, and then continue driving northbound on Unga,” the charges said.

Officers began patrolling the surrounding area and saw a white Ford Expedition with significant damage and blood on the vehicle, the charges said. The patrol officer stopped the SUV on the Glenn Highway near Boniface Parkway about four minutes after being called to the scene, police wrote in the statement.

Police said they could smell alcohol on the driver, 27-year-old Stephen Matthews, according to the charges. Matthews failed a field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol content of 0.13, the charges said.

Matthews told police he drank at a barbecue and was heading home, the charges said. He told police his car was damaged from a previous accident and denied any collision, according to the charging document.

Matthews said he was driving 45 to 55 mph on Fifth Avenue when a rock hit his windshield early Sunday, but “he did not know that he hit a person,” according to the charging document.

Matthews was arrested Sunday and charged with criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to render aid and driving under the influence.