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Crime & Courts

Man who caused Anchorage pileup was 4 times over blood alcohol limit, police say

  • Author: Jerzy Shedlock
  • Updated: July 7, 2016
  • Published January 20, 2016

Anchorage police have filed a criminal complaint including charges of drunken driving and multiple counts of assault against the man who caused a multicar crash on Jan. 11, injuring several adults and a toddler.

Paul Martin Duke Jr., 58, has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, six counts of third-degree assault and a single count of driving while intoxicated, according to a complaint filed in Anchorage Superior Court a week ago.

An Anchorage police officer's account of the pileup said it was shortly after 2 p.m. on a Monday when Duke drove his pickup truck from the outbound lanes of the Glenn Highway across a ditch and into the inbound lanes just west of Bragaw Street.

A commuter told police Duke's truck was swerving before driving into oncoming traffic.

Duke's truck hit Tiffany Rowe's sedan in the inbound lanes, according to the complaint. The impact ejected Rowe's 1-year-old daughter Abigail in her car seat. Rowe previously told Alaska Dispatch News that Abigail was strapped in properly; the seat belt securing the car seat was ripped from the car.

Abigail's arm was broken in several places, according to the complaint. Additionally, Rowe and her mother Candy Turner also had non-life-threatening injuries.

Tiffany Rowe said Thursday that her daughter is doing well. Abigail is regaining her appetite and trying to walk, the mother said.

"She had not walked for a week and on Monday we got her to take a couple steps," Rowe said. "She is having to relearn to walk, due to regression."

Abigail had surgery on her elbow Tuesday morning, Tiffany Rowe said, adding that her daughter has a long road to recovery but is glad she is alive.

In the course of the crash, two other vehicles were hit -- a van was forced off the road and into a ditch, injuring two passengers, and a car was hit, hurting three people, with one suffering broken ribs.

Duke was taken to a hospital, where a blood sample was drawn, the complaint says. He was more than four times over the legal alcohol limit, it says.

Police issued a warrant for Duke's arrest on Jan. 13. An APD press release on Thursday stated that Duke hasn't been taken into police custody because he is still receiving medical treatment due to the collision.

Duke's previous convictions include assault, vehicle theft and DUI.

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