SUV dragging carpet may be clue in fatal Fairbanks crash
Alaska State Troopers are asking Fairbanks residents for help learning more about the death of a man the night before Thanksgiving, in what was first described as a single-vehicle crash.
A Nov. 21 surveillance video released Tuesday shows what troopers describe as “a white Volvo SUV pulling a rolled-up piece of carpeting” onto College Road, near the Aurora subdivision.
“The vehicle was later found crashed along Ballaine Road during the evening of Nov. 21,” troopers wrote in an accompanying dispatch.
Troopers spokesman Jonathon Taylor confirmed that Tuesday’s dispatch involved the death of 56-year-old Jose Raul Santiago, whose 2004 Volvo left Mile 2.2 of Ballaine Road at about 7 p.m. that night and slammed into an elevated driveway.
Santiago wasn’t wearing a seat belt, troopers said in a dispatch at the time, adding that both excessive speed and icy roads contributed to the crash.
Taylor said only Santiago was killed during the events of Nov. 21 described in the original dispatch, but investigators now “have reason to believe that might not be the whole story.”
“We are seeking additional information because we have reason to believe that A, there may have been additional foul play and B, we have reason to believe that he was not killed solely by the accident,” Taylor said.
Santiago’s death isn’t yet considered suspicious, Taylor said, but the circumstances surrounding it are. He declined to say whether troopers believe the carpet seen in the video contained a body, or whether any suspects have been identified or arrested in the case.
Anyone with information about the evening’s events, or who saw anyone leaving the scene of the Ballaine Road crash, is asked to call troopers’ Fairbanks post at 907-451-5100.
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