Driver charged with murdering 2 women in 2016 Petersburg van crash
The driver in a van crash that killed two young Petersburg women last summer, bringing the Southeast Alaska town’s Fourth of July celebrations to a jarring halt, has been charged with murder in the wreck.
William “Chris” Allen, 24, was taken into custody in Fairbanks on a $50,000 arrest warrant shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, Alaska State Troopers said in an online dispatch. He was charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and manslaughter, plus one count of first-degree assault.
The dispatch did not explain what led investigators to arrest Allen in the crash. Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters referred questions on the case to the state Office of Special Prosecutions, which was closed for the weekend.
Allen had been at the wheel of a Ford E350 Econoline van which wrecked heading south on South Nordic Drive just before 7:30 a.m. on July 4, 2016. Two passengers, Molly Judge-Parks, 18, and Marie Giesbrecht, 19, died in the crash; a third passenger, 19-year-old Christina Cardenas, and Allen were taken to a local hospital. Cardenas was treated and released, but Allen had suffered serious injuries.
KFSK Community Radio reported that following the van’s rollover into a ditch near Petersburg’s South Harbor, local authorities canceled the day’s planned Fourth of July parade and carnival.
Petersburg police initially investigated the crash, but requested that troopers take over the case.