2 held, others sought in 5-vehicle Mountain View crash
The driver and one passenger of a stolen SUV were arrested Wednesday evening after a Mountain View search by Anchorage police, who say they caused a five-vehicle collision which injured four people with other occupants of the SUV at large.
Police said the wreck, which led to 21-year-old driver Moataa Ifopo and 19-year-old Shania Agli’s arrest, occurred at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Minutes before the crash, an APD officer tried to stop their 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe near Mountain View Drive and North McCarrey Street.
“The driver fled and the officer immediately discontinued the pursuit,” police wrote in a statement Thursday. “The suspect vehicle continued (westbound) through the intersection of Mountain View and Bragaw (Street) at a high rate of speed where it collided with other vehicles.”
APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said the SUV was traveling “at least twice the legal limit” of 30 mph on Mountain View Drive when it entered the intersection with a red light.
The Tahoe struck two southbound vehicles on Bragaw, which were just entering the intersection side-by-side, as well as a stopped vehicle waiting to travel eastbound on Mountain View. Debris from the latter collision struck a fourth vehicle, stopped in the left-turn lane from Mountain View to Bragaw.
None of the people injured in the crash needed treatment at a hospital, Oistad said, with damage to the vehicles involved ranging from “minor to disabling.”
The Tahoe stopped near Commercial Drive and Meyer Street, where everyone inside got out and ran. Police formed a perimeter and called in K-9 units for a search. Ifopo and Agli were found near an area snow dump to the west, with Ifopo arrested on the spot and Agli taken into custody after she was medically evaluated for a reported bump to her head in the crash.
“Witness statements are conflicting; it is believed there is at least one male unaccounted for who was also in the stolen vehicle,” police wrote. “There is no description available at this time.”
Police didn’t find any sign of intoxication or impairment on Ifopo or Agli’s part, Oistad said.
Ifopo, who had an outstanding warrant for vehicle theft, faces new counts in Wednesday’s crash including another count of vehicle theft, four counts of third-degree assault, leaving the scene of an injury accident, failure to stop at the direction of an officer and reckless endangerment. Agli was held on a charge of fifth-degree criminal mischief for being a passenger in a stolen vehicle.
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