• 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

  • Troopers: Remains found likely belong to David Grunwald, 1 teen charged in connection to his death

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:55

    Alaska State Troopers say it is likely the remains of missing 16-year-old David Grunwald have been found. Additionally, at least one teenager now faces charges of kidnapping and murder in connection to the case. Human remains were found in the Knik River Road area near Palmer around 2 p.m. on Friday, according to an online […]

  • News

    Electrical fire displaces 3 from Debarr Road home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:20

    A fire displaced three people in East Anchorage early Saturday morning, according to the Anchorage Fire Department. At least a dozen units responded to the fire at the Glacier Terrace Trailer Park, located near 4110 Debarr Road, just after 3 a.m., according to assistant fire Chief Erich Scheunemann. The fire was under control within half […]

  • Police: Man stabbed at Brother Francis Shelter, no suspect identified

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 11:14

    The Anchorage Police Department is investigating a stabbing that occurred at the Brother Francis Shelter early Saturday morning. The stabbing was reported just before 1 a.m., according to a statement from police. “Officers and medics arrived and located an adult male with a single stab wound to the back,” police explained. The victim was treated […]

  • News

    Silver Alert: Troopers seek whereabouts of 89-year-old Fairbanks man

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 10:45

    ANCHORAGE — An 89-year-old man’s disappearance has prompted a Silver Alert from the Alaska Department of Safety. R O’Grady was last seen near the area of Phillips Field Road and Peger Road in Fairbanks, according to the alert, which was issued around 2 a.m. on Saturday. O’Grady is believed to be endangered, Alaska State Troopers […]

  • News

    New details in Juneau officer-involved shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 03, 10:11

    Last updated at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 The Juneau Police Department has provided new details into the shooting involving two of its officers and a local man. The man was transported to Seattle for treatment after one of the officers shot him, according to police. Juneau police issued a statement about the incident […]

  • Make the Alaska Aces part of your team

    by Dave Leval on Dec 02, 21:01

    Here’s your chance to make Stephen Perfetto part of your team. The Alaska Aces center is one of three from the team on the ballot for the annual Meigray- ECHL Fantasy Team. Left-wingers Garet Hunt and Tim Wallace are also on the ballot. You can only vote once during the period that ends Monday, Dec. […]

  • News

    Bean’s Cafe opens overnight shelter, operated by its own staff

    by Eric Ruble on Dec 02, 20:52

    About 50 people were expected to spend Friday night inside Bean’s Cafe. Executive director Lisa Sauder said the decision was made less than one week ago, after the municipality asked for help in accommodating people who were turned away from places like Brother Francis Shelter due to high demand. “The need is great. The temperatures […]

  • Lawmakers, school board consider alternative approach to classroom discipline

    by Liz Raines on Dec 02, 20:35

    School suspensions may become a thing of the past. Lawmakers and school board members are looking at a different approach to student discipline statewide. National studies have found that, for many incarcerated adults, their pathway to jail started with frequent suspensions in school. The trend is now known as the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Educators statewide are trying […]