Hit-and-run victim's family struggles with his death as teen suspect awaits trial

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Last summer, Paul Winter was struck and killed by a woman accused of driving under the influence. Months later, the case is finally moving forward, with an arrest made only this week.

"It's been difficult waiting for the culmination of the case," said Bonnie Winter-Steinriede, Paul's mother.

The 40-year-old Winter, a married father of one, was fatally hit by a driver in June of 2018 in downtown Anchorage.

"A vehicle came through the intersection and struck him," said Anchorage Police Department Traffic Unit Sergeant Rick Steiding. "A tragic event. It's very difficult to work through some of these."

Winter was rollerblading at the time. That was almost nine months ago.

"It's an up-and-down process," Winter-Steinriede said. "Anybody who's gone through grieving would understand. Up one day, you're down the next, okay with things one day, not okay the next day. So it's been a challenge."

A large part of the delay was the required toxicology screenings in which samples had to be sent out of state for testing.

"Over time, because Washington does contract with other agencies as well as other states, the workload just increased," Steiding said.

That process, however, has changed since Winter's death.

"I know if those would've been back sooner, this whole process would've been faster," Winter-Steinriede said.

On Thursday, 19-year-old Adanna Francis was arrested. She faces various charges, including second-degree murder, Driving Under the Influence, and others.

[RELATED: Woman arrested for deadly June hit-and-run that killed pedestrian on the sidewalk]

"Paul meant the world to us," Winter-Steinriede said. "He was the light in our family. And it's gone now."

As the teen awaits trial, Winter's family struggles with his absence and hopes for better times ahead.

"The hardest part is Paul's daughter, who's coming up on 5 years old," she said. "She talks about her dad all the time. It is heartbreaking."

"We are hoping that it is a deterrent," Winter-Steinriede said. "You hear on the news at least two or three times a month - a hit-and-run. Hopefully people will think twice about leaving the scene of an accident."



 
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