• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 47s

Suspected drunk driver plows into family

By Heather Hintze 7:23 PM January 5, 2014

“Here we have another incident where an intoxicated, heavily intoxicated driver hits three people, injuring them, could have killed them"

ANCHORAGE- An Anchorage woman is behind bars after police said she drunkenly plowed into a family early Sunday morning.

Erica Merrill, 34, is charged with a felony DUI, three counts of assault in the second degree and four counts of assault in the third degree. She’s also charged with driving with a revoked license and driving without insurance.

At 12:09 a.m., Merrill was driving her SUV east  on 88th Avenue where a family of seven was walking, APD said.

Merrill hit 22-year-old Patricia Shawley, her 18-month-old son who was in a stroller, and her four-year-old son, officers said. Shawley suffered a leg injury after being pinned by the car; her sons went to the hospital with cuts and abrasions, they said. The 4-year-old also had a collapsed lung and was being monitored in the Intensive Care Unit, police said.

After the crash, police said Merrill tried to flee the scene.

“There was an individual who was a security guard at the nearby Trophy Lounge that actually helped restrain her until police could arrive,” said Anita Shell, spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department. “So there were some good Samaritans who weren’t going to stand by and let this happen to these innocent people.”

This is Merrill’s third DUI charge, according to court records. It shows she’s also been convicted of child endangerment and neglect, as well as driving without a license several times.

It’s frustrating to see something like this happen when so many officers and citizen volunteers are out on the streets looking for drunk drivers, Shell said.

“Here we have another incident where an intoxicated, heavily intoxicated driver hits three people, injuring them, could have killed them,” Shell said. “Through the grace of God she did not. This family was just innocently walking home and should have been okay on the street of Anchorage.”

Merrill was arraigned on the charges in Anchorage Jail Court on Sunday afternoon. Judge Christina Teaford determined Merrill is a flight risk and a danger to the community. She set Merrill’s bail at $40,000 cash with a third party custodian.  Merrill will be back in court on Tuesday.


Latest Stories

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Aviation careers

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 12:37

    From pilots and dispatchers to air traffic controllers, the Alaska labor department projects the need for more than 4,000 workers in the aviation sector over the next few years. Cari-Ann Ketterling with the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) and Ravn Alaska’s Chief Pilot, Aaron Rocereta, joined Daybreak Wednesday to talk aviation careers. “The aviation field […]

  • News

    Alaska, British Columbia leaders sign cooperative agreement

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 12:10

    Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark have signed a cooperative agreement, committing to work together on issues of shared interest, including the ongoing discussion over Canadian mining impacts on Alaska waters. The non-binding memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday. In a release, Walker said it’s important the state foster good relationships with […]

  • DayBreak

    Medical Myths: The real and imagined risks with vaccines

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 11:08

    Physicians and health officials have been battling misconceptions about vaccines over the past several years. Many parents are now choosing not to get their children vaccinated — a move, doctors say, that prompted the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland over the summer. Wednesday, Dr. Michael Reeves, a family physician at Medical Park Family Care, joined […]

  • Sports

    Making Waves: Pepperdine’s Ogwumike leads the climb back

    by Dave Goldman on Nov 25, 10:55

    Erica Ogwumike is blazing her own path in Malibu. The freshman guard is leading the rebuild of the Pepperdine University’s women’s basketball program. “I’m just trying to play these four years, play basketball, and get a great degree at Pepperdine University, so that’s all I can — the future is far,” she said. There’s another […]

  • DayBreak

    6th annual ‘The Pour’ event helps feed the hungry in Anchorage

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 10:17

    Helping feed the hungry by celebrating the flavors of the season — the 6th annual “The Pour” event is a fundraiser for Bean’s Café and the Children’s Lunchbox. On Thursday, Dec. 3, people are invited to the Alaska Native Heritage Center for some fine wine, craft beer and gourmet food. Dana Applebee, event chair or […]

  • Crime

    Not guilty plea entered in rural Alaska abduction case

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 9:55

    A not guilty plea has been entered in the case of a man accused of repeatedly raping a woman and holding her captive for five weeks in Alaska. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/4IJCFS) reported that 37-year-old Daniel Selovich of Manley Springs was arraigned Tuesday in Fairbanks Superior Court, where his public defender entered the plea […]

  • News

    Alaska wants Fairbanks area split into 2 air quality zones

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 7:50

    The state of Alaska is calling on the federal government to split Fairbanks and North Pole into separate smoke pollution non-attainment areas. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1PNxtJE) that the state’s request comes as the Fairbanks North Star Borough faces tougher rules for smoke emissions, mainly due to worsening emissions in the North Pole area. […]

  • News

    Freezing rain closes schools again in Mat-Su Borough

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 5:52

    The following schools will be closed today, Nov. 25, due to freezing rain, according to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District: * Willow Elementary * Trapper Creek Elementary * Talkeetna Elementary * Su-Valley Junior, Senior High * Houston Middle and High School * Big Lake Elementary * Beryozova K-12 School All but one school was closed yesterday […]