Five Teens Injured in Tuesday Accident


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An early-morning car accident near North Birchwood Loop on Tuesday left an 18-year-old Chugiak man in critical condition at an Anchorage hospital.

Anchorage Police Department Lt. Dave Parker said Tyler Shaf, 18, was flown by Life Flight helicopter for emergency surgery after suffering head injuries in the accident, which occurred at around 6 a.m.

Parker said Shaf was one of four passengers in a white Ford Escort driven by Jesse Contreras, 18. Parker said the car left Aurora Borealis Road as it neared North Birchwood and went down a steep embankment.

"When the car went off, it started to roll," Parker said.

The vehicle came to rest on its roof after striking a birch tree. Shaf, who Parker said was sitting behind the driver, got the worst of it.

"It landed right on the hood and compressed the passenger compartment," he said.

Parker said the three other occupants of the vehicle were identified as Ciara Akers, 16, Brendan Weaver-Rocha, 18, and Jonathan Parsons, 18.

Akers, Weaver-Rocha and Contreras were taken by ambulance to local hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. As of Tuesday afternoon, Weaver-Rocha and Contreras had been released, while Akers was still hospitalized. Shaf remained in critical condition.

Parsons, who Parker said was riding in the front passenger seat, managed to free himself from the vehicle and call police. He did not require medical attention.

The cause of the accident is still unknown, though Parker said the preliminary investigation showed the teens had been up all night before the accident.

"They had apparently been partying," he said.

Police also impounded a second vehicle at the accident scene that was not involved in the original incident. Parker said that vehicle was seized because police believed it may contain evidence that could shed light on why the Escort crashed.

"Apparently it was at the same party or gathering," Parker said.

Parker said no arrests have been made or charges filed in the case, which remains under investigation.

 

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.

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