Law enforcement responds to three DUI accidents over Labor Day weekend

Sep 7, 2017

A highly lubricated post-fishing season has continued to keep law enforcement busy.

Chevy pickup truck flipped early on Labor Day. The driver told police he had drank a bottle of R&R whiskey all night before driving fast down Waskey, resulting in the accident.
Credit KDLG

On Friday morning, state troopers contacted 20-year-old Moses Kritz III of Aleknagik after they found a wrecked 2002 Ford Explorer. Kritz was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and arrested for DUI. He was also cited for negligent driving, not having a driver’s license or proof of insurance, and underage drinking.

On Saturday, troopers responded to a crash near mile 12 of Lake Road. They say a PT Cruiser went off the roadway and overturned several times. The driver, 21-year-old Kayla Brothers, was taken to the hospital and will be charged with DUI. An 18-year-old female passenger was cited for underage drinking, and also sustained injuries.

On Monday morning a man self-reported to Dillingham Police that he had flipped his 2000 Chevy pickup truck, and that he had been drinking. Herman Nielsen, 26, told an officer he drank a bottle of R&R whiskey between midnight and 7 a.m., then drove his truck at a high rate of speed down Waskey Road and crashed. His BAC was .171, and after being checked at the hospital, Nielsen was placed under arrest.

In other news from the cops and courts beat, the trial of Knutsen v. Dillingham hit a bump in the road last Thursday when two women failed to show up for jury duty after a long night of drinking.

With the jury out of the room, Judge Greg Heath told the parties he had received word that one of the women had spent the night in jail – in protective custody – and the other was apparently wandering the streets. The court clerk found her at a unit in HUD housing.

Heath told the attorneys he would likely toss them both from the jury and fine them.

"You get sanctioned if you don't do your duty. It's going to cost you," he explained.

Carrie Nick and Contessa Berlin, both from Togiak, were eventually brought into court by a state trooper, who gave each a breathalyzer. Nick blew a .076, and Berlin a .229.

Judge Heath explained why they were being sent home, and that each would be required to pay the state back for the airfare, hotel nights, food and other costs associated with their service since Aug. 21. The court said that might be a couple thousand dollars.

The estate of Fred Knutsen is suing the city, claiming police officers and first responders were negligent in preventing the 25-year-old's drowning death at the harbor on Aug. 21, 2012. Originally 15 jurors were seated to provide three alternates. One man was dismissed on the first day of arguments for falling asleep, and Thursday's dismissals meant that the final deliberating panel had been picked.

Heath told the remaining 12 jurors that the trial depended on them showing up and staying out of trouble.

A Naknek DUI case that resulted in a brief chase by police may not get indicted. Early on Aug. 15, after an officer tried to stop Tyler W. Angasan, 22, for speeding, he allegedly blew through stop signs and drove evasively before wrecking a Ford Expedition. Police say Angasan was treated for a cut to his shoulder but was otherwise unharmed. He was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, according to police, and charged with DUI, failure to stop at the direction of an officer, reckless driving, and driving without a license. At a pre-indictment hearing Tuesday, the felony failure to stop charge was dismissed.