Thursday, May 23, 2013
Accused Fairbanks Driver In Fatal Hit-And-Run To Appear In Court Tuesday
A woman accused of hitting a 92-year-old woman in downtown Fairbanks and driving away is scheduled to appear for the first time in court this afternoon.
FAIRBANKS — A woman accused of hitting a 92-year-old woman in downtown Fairbanks and driving away is scheduled to appear for the first time in court this afternoon, but it’s not immediately clear if she will appear to face charges.
Sonja Jean Yatlin, 32, was indicted early this month on a felony charge of leaving the scene of a May 31 accident after allegedly hitting 92-year-old Yolana “Rocky” Rockar on Sixth Street and Noble.
Rockar suffered a broken arm, broken leg, broken ribs and a broken pelvis. She died Jun. 9.
Yatlin also was charged with driving with a suspended driver’s license and driving without insurance.
A process server sent to Yatlin’s address on Badger Road after the indictment was not able to contact her in person or by phone, according to court records.
Fairbanks city Mayor Jerry Cleworth, who owns Alaska Rare Coins on Second Avenue, said Rockar was regularly seen walking around downtown. She lived on 10th Avenue.
Cleworth described Rockar as “very quiet” and a “private” woman who paid attention to local politics, though she didn’t get personally involved.
“She never wanted to take your time,” he said. “She’d say, ‘I want to talk to you for one minute’ and then say, ‘I have to leave.’
“She always felt like she was imposing on you,” Cleworth said.
Borough Assemblywoman Vivian Stiver said she had known Rockar for about 10 years. She first met her when she came into her old coffee shop, Two Street Station, in the Coop Plaza. When Stiver moved into the old Caribou Loan building next door, Rockar continued to stop by for roast beef sandwiches.
“She was really quiet but she was very astute politically,” Stiver said, adding Rockar regularly read the Daily News-Miner and attended City Council meetings. “We had a lot of discussions about politics.”
Rockar regularly stopped in at Ebony and Ivory Arts and Gifts in the Coop Plaza on Second Avenue to buy snacks and groceries, owner Joe Haynes said. Haynes would often get a grocery list from her and then deliver the items, he said.
“She was a really nice lady,” Haynes said. “I talked to her a few days before the accident when she asked me to call a cab for her. I opened the door for her and told the driver to take good care of her because she was one of my regular customers.
“The next thing I heard she was in an accident,” he said.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.