• 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

  • Politics

    Murkowski raises more than $730K during latest quarter

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 14:22

    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski brought in more than $730,000 during the latest fundraising quarter. As of June 30, the Republican had nearly $3.1 million available. Murkowski faces no major opposition in next month’s GOP primary. Independent Margaret Stock, who will first appear on the November general election ballot, reported raising about $190,000 from April through […]

  • Lifestyle

    Federal Reserve keeps interest rates near record lows

    by CBS/AP on Jul 27, 12:01

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates unchanged while noting that near-term risks to the economy have diminished. “The Fed seems intent on telling the markets that a September hike is a possibility,” Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, emailed. “They do this not because they are intent to raise but to […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Coffee shops, carts and cafes

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 27, 11:17

    Anchorage is second to Seattle for having the most coffee carts per capita, according to the National Coffee Association. That’s 189 coffee carts for all of Anchorage’s coffee lovers. Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium states that owners can make anywhere between $300 to $1,400 per day, depending on the location and concept. The captial needed […]

  • News

    Payment delays stall bulk water sales in Sitka

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 10:03

    Efforts to advance bulk water sales in Sitka have stalled amid missed payments. Members of the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board of Directors this week expressed frustration with the delays, but left open the possibility for the interested groups to buy water rights if they come up with the required money. Alaska Bulk Water Inc. […]

  • News

    Kodiak runway extends 600 feet into ocean as safety measure

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 8:42

    If a jet needs a little extra space landing at the Kodiak airport, the runway has just been extended – 600 feet into the ocean. But don’t expect any watery landings. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports airports typically extend runways for safety reasons, but geography was a challenge in Kodiak because the airport runway has […]

  • News

    Prosecutors drop charges in Freddie Gray case

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 8:27

    Prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction. Gray was a black man who was critically injured in the back of a police van in April 2015. Prosecutors’ decision Wednesday comes after a judge had already acquitted three […]

  • News

    North Pole woman sentenced to 4 years in prison for toddler death

    by Associated Press on Jul 27, 8:05

    A North Pole woman convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the death of her toddler has been sentenced to four years in prison. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 26-year-old Amberlynn Swanson pleaded guilty in March in the death of 18-month-old Julian Swanson-Byrd. [ RELATED: North Pole woman charged with killing son reached plea deal ] […]

  • News

    Reagan shooter John Hinckley Jr. granted release

    by CBS/AP on Jul 27, 7:44

    A federal judge has granted John Hinckley, Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, full-time release from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he has been in treatment since the shooting. Judge Paul L. Friedman delivered the ruling Wednesday, granting Hinckley, now 61 years old, full time convalescent leave to begin no […]