A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson airman has been accused of a drunk driving death, killing a woman in a Sunday morning t-bone crash in East Anchorage, according to the Anchorage Police Department.
APD says Lane Douglas Wyatt, 22, was driving a Chrysler 300 that crashed into a Monte Carlo shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Boniface Parkway and Debarr Road and killed Citari Townes-Sweatt, 20, the driver of the Monte Carlo.
“Officers learned that a Green 2006 Chrysler 300 had been traveling northbound on Boniface Parkway at a high rate of speed when it reportedly ran the red light and 't-boned' a white 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo traveling through the intersection westbound on Debarr Road,” Dani Myren, APD spokesperson, wrote in a news release. “There were a total of nine vehicle occupants between the two vehicles, four in the Chrysler 300 and five in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Four vehicle occupants, collectively, were transported by medics to various local hospitals while the driver of the Monte Carlo, 20-year-old Citari Townes-Sweatt, was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Wyatt made his first court appearance in Anchorage Jail court Sunday afternoon, where he read all nine counts against him.
“During the investigation, Wyatt admitted to officers that he had consumed three beers and five shots of alcohol at Chilkoot Charlie’s before getting into his car and driving,” Patrick Bergt, Assistant District Attorney, wrote in charging documents. “While speaking with Wyatt, officers observed the objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication, including slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes. Officers could also smell alcohol as they spoke with Wyatt. After providing a mandatory blood sample, Wyatt refused a Drug Recognition Expert Exam.”
The magistrate appointed Wyatt a public defender after asking a series of qualifying questions, in which Wyatt said he worked at JBER as a computer technician, had $0.65 in savings, and owned a Chrysler 300.
JBER officials say Wyatt was among four military members involved in the crash. Wyatt was an airman assigned 1st Class, 673rd Communications Squadron client systems apprentice and driver.
"Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of those who have been needlessly affected by this tragedy," said Col. Brian Duffy, JBER and 673rd Air Base Wing Commander.
"The Air Force has strict policy on operating motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and this type of behavior is not tolerated," Duffy said. "APD and the civilian courts have the lead, and we are supporting their investigation."
According to court papers, four other passengers in the Monte Carlo were taken to area hospitals with serious physical injuries and three passengers in the Chrysler 300 suffered physical injuries that were being treated.
APD says the Sunday morning crash marked the first deadly alcohol related crash in over a year with the last incident happening on April 30, 2012 when Brenda Kae Davis, 44, crashed a hummer into the Muldoon JBER gate.
Wyatt was charged with manslaughter, four counts of first degree assault, three counts of third degree assault, and one count of operating under the influence. His bail was set at $50,000.