Man Charged with Providing Alcohol in Fatal Teen Crash
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 11:10:00 AM AKDT
Anchorage Police Department investigators have arrested an Anchorage man in connection with a February vehicle crash that resulted in the death of the 17-year-old driver.
The driver, Brandon Muller, along with two other friends, ages 16 and 18, were involved in a Feb. 20, 2014 crash that was later concluded to have been the result of driving under of the influence of alcohol, according to APD investigators. Following the crash, the remaining occupants were charged with consumption of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age.
In the wake of the crash, APD investigators arrested 30-year-old Robert Lee Green III at his place of work and charged him with two felony counts of furnishing or delivery of alcoholic beverages to minors, said APD investigator Steve Dunn. Court documents allege Green’s actions directly contributed to the serious physical injury and/or the death of another person while under the influence of the alcoholic beverage.
“Once we give the indictment to the grand jury, he will have his time in court,” Dunn said. “Whether it will result in a trial or whether he pleads out, he will get his time in court.”
Police and medics arrived at the scene of the Feb. 20 fatal crash just after 3:20 a.m. at the intersection of O’Malley Road and Commodore Drive. Police said the SUV the teens were in was traveling westbound on O’Malley when it veered to the right and hit a snow bank.
The car then rolled “multiple times,” coming to a stop in the middle of a resident's yard.
Muller was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two occupants, a 16-year-old woman and 18-year-old Damien Doctolero, were seriously injured. APD officials noted none of the occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash; however, spokesperson Jennifer Castro noted a high rate of speed may not have caused the crash.
Dunn said APD continues to take proactive approaches toward keeping alcohol out of the possession of minors, but “we can’t help everyone.”
“It’s important for the parents or community to encourage talking to (minors) about making good choices when it comes to alcohol education,” Dunn said.
Green doesn't contest what he did, but says he didn't give alcohol directly to the people involved in the wreck.
"I was just helping out a friend from work, and he gave it to his friends," Green said. "I'm sorry for what happened, but I had nothing to do with it and I had no control over it."
Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion says the intent of the law -- passed by lawmakers after the 2001 Glenn Highway crash in which APD Ofc. Justin Wollam was struck and killed by an underage drunk driver -- is to make people think before they enable dangerous or even deadly behavior.
"Our goal is to try to deter people from committing these types of offenses, and try and make sure people are aware that these statures exists -- and they will be prosecuted," Campion said.
It's a warning that comes too late for Green.
"I'm sure it happened way more than people know, and the one time I help out someone and I get caught," Green said.
A makeshift memorial with flowers is set up at the scene of the crash in which Muller died.
Green was arrested without incident, according to an official APD report, and remanded at the Anchorage Jail. His bail was set at $5,000.
Channel 2's Mallory Peebles contributed information to this story.
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