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Teen Driver Detained in Fatal South Anchorage Hit-and-Run

Published On: Aug 06 2014 06:59:00 AM AKDT   Updated On: Jul 19 2014 09:22:16 PM AKDT
Bicyclist Badly Hurt in South Anchorage Hit-and-Run

Lacie Grosvold/KTUU-TV


A teenage girl believed to have been at the wheel of a pickup truck that killed a man in a South Anchorage hit-and-run collision Saturday morning has been detained by police.

According to an APD statement on the case, police received multiple calls about the collision just before 10:20 a.m. Saturday.

"The bicyclist, a 51-year-old man, was traveling eastbound on 84th Avenue near Spruce Street when he was struck by a black (Chevrolet) pickup truck driven by a female," police wrote. "Officers located the suspect and the vehicle a few blocks from the scene and have the 17-year-old driver detained at the time of this release."

The bicyclist was taken to a local hospital, where APD says he was subsequently declared dead. His next of kin haven't yet been notified.

According to initial reports, the pickup backed into the bicyclist and then struck a fence post, before heading south on Spruce. Police tracked the vehicle's license plate and registration to an address on Spruce Brook Street south of the crash site, where officers found the truck and spoke with the driver.

APD spokesperson Anita Shell says neither arrests nor charges have been made in the case -- and that even if charges are filed, it's unlikely that the driver will be named because she is a juvenile. She says it's not immediately clear whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

"They were doing field sobriety tests, and I don't have the outcome of that," Shell said.

A witness at the scene, Tina Adcox, says the truck was moving quickly and erratically when she and another person saw it hit the bicyclist, who was on a road bike and wearing a helmet.

"The car came from that small neighborhood driving backwards, so fast it's squeaking," Adcox said. "So I told the other guy, I said, 'Call 911, right away.'"

Adcox, a trained nurse, quickly sprang into action.

"I came here, I see the cyclist, but already that bumper hit the cyclist and went through that post, hit again that post and ran away," Adcox said. "And I ask the guy to get the plate number while I'm attending the cyclist."

According to her, the bicyclist was in bad shape after being struck.

"He was unconscious," Adcox said. "I opened his eyes -- just not responding but he was breathing, hit in the back."

APD Sgt. Rick Steiding, a veteran crash investigator with the department, says that despite the outcome of Saturday's collision, police always appreciate the assistance of good Samaritans and particularly medics.

"These are tragic events for everybody involved, not only the victim and the victim's family, but the driver and the driver's family," Steiding said. "Anybody that's a professional medical provider, they've seen a lot of stuff. It helps them keep a clear head; it helps them relay stuff to the dispatchers and the paramedics, and helps them prepare for what they may be encountering at the scene."

Regardless of a collision's severity, Steiding says drivers should never leave the scene.

"The best thing somebody can do if somebody's involved in an accident is stop," Steiding said. "Make sure you follow all the rules -- you notify the police and you stay at the scene -- because regardless of what the circumstances were that led up to that crash, leaving the scene compounds everything and makes it worse."

Channel 2’s Lacie Grosvold and Kuba Wuls contributed information to this story.

This is a developing story. Please check and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.