A Fairbanks man was arrested this week on murder and manslaughter charges stemming from a Seward Highway collision last month that occurred during a high-speed pursuit involving law enforcement.
Alaska State Troopers say the 58-year-old passenger in the car the day of the collision died early this month. The driver, 29-year-old Gideon Grady, was in custody at Fairbanks Correctional Center as of Thursday morning.
Grady, who was reported as a dangerous driver by multiple callers prior to the pursuit, later struck another car while fleeing from Alaska State Troopers at an estimated speed of 90 to 100 mph on the Seward Highway, according to a sworn affidavit filed with charges by Trooper Evan Oncay.
The passenger who later died, Fairbanks resident Gregory Green, told troopers in a hospital interview three days after the collision that he’d unsuccessfully asked Grady to pull over “and not make things worse,” Oncay wrote.
The incident began July 23 when another driver reported Grady’s Toyota sedan for dangerous driving southbound on the highway near the intersection with the Sterling Highway, the affidavit said. Oncay wrote that he saw a car that appeared to match the description of the dangerous driver but noted no dangerous behavior and continued toward an unrelated call.
About 40 minutes later, multiple people called 911 in Seward to report Grady’s car was swerving on the road, speeding and nearly striking pedestrians, the affidavit said. A Seward police officer tried to stop him, noting that the car almost hit multiple pedestrians, but Grady fled and the officer lost sight of the car, it said.
Additional drivers called 911 from the Seward Highway and reported the car had nearly caused multiple head-on collisions, the affidavit said.
Another trooper in a marked vehicle tried to pull over Grady’s car about 10 miles out of Seward but he didn’t stop, Oncay wrote. The trooper “initiated a pursuit due to the extreme danger that the driver presented to the other drivers on the Seward Highway,” the agency said in an update.
A number of factors, including the seriousness of the underlying offense and the immediate danger posed by attempts to flee, are considered by troopers before they pursue a vehicle, according to state Department of Public Safety policy.
The trooper lost sight of the car, then came around a curve to see a cloud of debris and saw it had slid sideways and crashed into a Kia SUV in the oncoming lane, the affidavit said. The driver of the Kia was brought to Providence Seward Medical Center with serious injuries, troopers said.
Grady and passenger Green were ejected from the car, the affidavit said. Both were seriously injured and flown to hospitals in Anchorage, according to troopers. Investigators found alcohol and marijuana in or near the car after it crashed, the affidavit said.
Green was interviewed by troopers several days after the crash and told them he had not been driving and had asked Grady to pull over when law enforcement tried to stop them, the affidavit said.
Troopers said Green died from his injuries on Aug. 2.
Grady told troopers he had been driving the vehicle and swerving when he lost control and struck the Kia, the affidavit said.
He was arrested Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, first-degree assault and failure to stop for a police officer.