Trooper Report

The Alaska State Troopers reported the following incidents. Any charges reported are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Search and Rescue, Death Investigation Natural Causes
COOPER LANDING: On July 14 at 11:30 a.m., Soldotna Dispatch received a 911 call of a male that was down on the Russian Lakes Trail in Cooper Landing. A Cooper Landing Trooper and medics from Cooper Landing EMS responded to the scene. An investigation showed that Larry Farmer, age 68 of Gainsville, GA, had been hiking on the trail with a group of people when he collapsed. CPR was started and 911 was called. CPR was performed for approximately 40 minutes before Farmer was declared deceased. Farmer’s next of kin were present and notified of his death. Farmer was found to have a history of heart trouble and no foul play is suspected. The State Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted and released the body to the family.

Motor Vehicle Collision with Wildlife
MILE 50 SEWARD HWY: On July 14 at 4 a.m., Cooper Landing Troopers responded to a vehicle versus moose collision at mile 50 of the Seward Highway. An investigation showed that Jon Montgomery, age 27 of Arizona, had been traveling South on the Seward Highway when a moose walked into his lane of traffic. Due to oncoming traffic Montgomery was not able to avoid the moose and struck it with his vehicle. The truck sustained approximately $5,000 in damage and the moose had to be put down. All occupants of the vehicle wore seat belts and no injuries were reported. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash and the moose was given to charity.

Death Investigation - Natural Causes
COOPER LANDING: On July 13 at about 12:30 p.m., Soldotna Dispatch received a 911 call about a 90-year-old female that was unconscious in a vehicle parked in the Sunrise Inn parking lot in Cooper Landing. An investigation showed that Dorothy Grooms, age 90 of New Mexico, had been riding in a vehicle with her daughter, Janet Grooms, age 65 of New Mexico, when she became unresponsive. Janet Grooms pulled into the Sunrise Inn and 911 was called. Bystanders performed CPR and Troopers then continued by medics with Cooper Landing EMS but CPR was not successful. Dorothy Grooms had several medical issues and her death was determined to be from natural causes. The State Medical Examiners office to the family released Dorothy Grooms’ body and Peninsula Memorial Mortuary responded to take possession of the body. No foul play is suspected.

Commercial Fishing in Closed Water
WHITTIER: On July 14, Lari Perron, age 49 of Cordova the Alaska Wildlife Troopers Girdwood Post cited Perron for commercial fishing in closed waters, cited. Perron was cited after his drift gillnet and boat went over the line in the Eshamy District fishery.

Minor Consumption of Alcohol-Habitual, MICS 4th Degree
GIRDWOOD: On July 16 at approximately 6:15 p.m., a Trooper from Girdwood contacted Tiffany Trumbly, age 19 of Soldotna, near mile 89 of the Seward Highway after a concerned motorist reported she appeared intoxicated and was staggering near the roadway. An investigation revealed that Trumbly was heavily intoxicated. Due to her intoxication and prior MCA convictions she was arrested for Habitual MCA and eventually transported to and remanded at the Anchorage Jail. Further investigation eventually lead to the seizure of 160 grams of marijuana from Trumbly’s backpack. An additional charge of MICS 4th Degree will be added to Trumbly’s charges.

Improper Evidence of Registration and Title
COOPER LANDING: On July 18 at approximately 7:40 p.m., Troopers observed a Green pickup towing a white cargo trailer traveling North at Mile 40 of the Sterling Highway. The trailer license plate was a decorative facsimile of an Alaska Centennial license plate, which read “CHICKEN.” Troopers contacted the driver Robert G. Johnson, age 52 of Chugiak. An investigation revealed that there was no record of the license plate and that the trailer had not been properly registered. Johnson was summoned to the Seward court for Improper Evidence of Registration or Title.

Motor Vehicle Collision, Driving Under the Influence, Probation Violation
COOPER LANDING: On July 18 at approximately 7 a.m., Troopers responded to a one-vehicle rollover accident with injuries at Mile 45 of the Sterling Highway. On arrival, Troopers contacted Philip Barnholdt, age 51 of Kenai, who was traveling northbound when he lost control of his 1997 Ford Expedition and crossed the centerline causing another vehicle to take evasive action and run off the road. Barnholdt’s subsequently struck an embankment and rolled. An investigation revealed that Barnholdt was Driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance. A records check also revealed that Barnholdt is on Felony probation. Barnholdt was arrested for DUI, transported to Seward Providence Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, and later released. Barnholdt’s vehicle was a total loss.

Motor Vehicle Collision-Damage
COOPER LANDING: On July 18 at approximately 5:10 p.m., Troopers responded to a report of a 32-foot boat that had fallen of its trailer and was blocking the roadway at mile 64 of the Sterling Highway. Investigation revealed Thad Stokes, of Richmond, Utah, was traveling southbound when he lost control of his 1999 Ford pickup causing the boat trailer he was towing to jack knife and leave the roadway. Troopers provided traffic control while the vehicles were removed. Alcohol was not a factor. Damage to the vehicles was estimated at $12,000.

DUI and Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test of the Breath
WHITTIER: On July 18 at approximately 10:48 p.m., Troopers from Girdwood contacted a vehicle near mile 6 Portage Valley Road regarding a Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) report. The operator of the vehicle was identified as Bruce F. Spears, age 54 of Anchorage. Spears was found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated. Spears was arrested for DUI and eventually charged with Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test of the Breath following an attempted breath test. Spears was transported to and remanded into the Anchorage Jail with bail set at $2,500 cash and a court approved third party.

Driving While License Revoked
COOPER LANDING: On July 18, Eddie Stanley Jr., age 45 of Cooper Landing, was charged with Driving While License Revoked after he drove to the Cooper Landing State Trooper Office for an unrelated issue. Stanley was issued a summons to appear in the Seward Court at a later date and was released from the scene. The vehicle was released to a licensed driver.

Driving Under the Influence, Endangering the Welfare of a Child x3
COOPER LANDING: On July 18, Victor Argueta, age 34 of Anchorage, was arrested with Driving Under the Influence and three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child after the vehicle he was driving was stopped for a traffic violation. Troopers located three children ranging from four to eight years of age inside the vehicle that Argueta was operating while under the influence. The three children were released to a sober parent and the vehicle was impounded. Argueta was remanded at the Seward Jail without incident.

Assault 3rd Degree
GIRDWOOD: On July 19 at approximately 2:15 p.m., a Trooper in Girdwood responded to the Woolery residence on Irish Pond Circle in Girdwood following a request for a welfare check on a resident at that location. During an investigation it was determined John C. Woolery, age 72 of Girdwood, had assaulted his 67 year old wife. Woolery was arrested and transported to the Anchorage Jail where he was remanded on the charge of Assault 3rd Degree which carried a bail of $750.

Driving While License Suspended
GIRDWOOD: On July 19 at approximately 10:40 p.m., a Girdwood Trooper initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for speeding near mile 101 of the Seward Highway, in the safety corridor. Investigation revealed the driver of the vehicle, Lonnie D. Brumlow age 48 of Kenai, was operating the vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. Brumlow was issued a summons to appear in court. Brumlow was also issued a traffic citation for speeding. Alyeska Towing impounded the vehicle.

Driving While License Suspended
GIRDWOOD: On July 22 at approximately 5:35 p.m., a Trooper from Girdwood initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for speeding near mile 98 of the Seward Highway, which is within the safety corridor. An investigation revealed the driver of the vehicle, Casandra K. Harris, age 34 of Seward, was operating the vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. Harris was issued a summons to appear in court on the charge of DWLS and a traffic citation for speeding. The vehicle was released to a licensed driver at the scene.

Bear Mauling
COOPER LANDING: At approximately 10:58 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, Soldotna dispatch received a 911 call from the Kenai Princess Lodge in Cooper Landing stating employee Abigail Sisk, age 21 of Odgen, Utah, was walking on a trail near the lodge when she was attacked by a brown bear. A visitor at the lodge, Wasilla resident Robert VinZant, heard the attack and saw the bear standing on top of Sisk with her head in its jaws. He managed to chase the bear off. The bear is described as a very large male bear standing 7-8 feet tall and between 500-800 pounds. Sisk suffered severe facial and head lacerations and was transported to Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna by Cooper Landing Ambulance. She was later transferred to Providence Hospital in Anchorage where she underwent emergency surgery the morning of Thursday, July 24. Responding troopers were unable to locate the bear.

Drowning
COOPER LANDING: At approximately 6:22 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, the body of David Yanoshek, age 56 of Anchorage, was found at the lower Kenai River just before the entrance to Skilak Lake. At 9:55 p.m. the combined efforts of Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service succeeded in recovering the body. The SME’s office positively identified Yanoshek on Friday, July 25. The SME’s office ruled the cause of death was drowning. Yanoshek was not wearing a personal flotation device.

Motor Vehicle Collision
PORTAGE: On July 24 at approximately 11:50 a.m., a Trooper from Girdwood, along with Girdwood Fire/EMS, responded to the report of a motor vehicle crash near mile 79 of the Seward Highway. A scene investigation revealed that Marcel Hollenstein, age 32 of Switzerland, attempted to turn into the Wildlife Preserve from the Seward Highway but lost control of his late model sedan in doing so. The vehicle slid across the entrance and down into the ditch. Hilda Hollenstein, age 63 of Switzerland, and Christoph Hollenstein, age 59 and also of Switzerland, were transported to Girdwood EMS for evaluation of possible injury. The vehicle sustained a moderate amount of damage and was removed from the scene by an Anchorage area tow company.

Search and Rescue
McHUGH CREEK: On July 26 at approximately 5:48 p.m., Troopers from Girdwood, an Alaska State Park Ranger, the Anchorage Fire Department, Life Guard Alaska, and the Rescue Coordination Center all responded to the report of an injured hiker near the peak of McHugh Mountain. An investigation revealed that Jacob Nist, age 30 of Anchorage, had hiked McHugh Mountain on the trail and then attempted to return to the base of the mountain via another unmarked route. Nist fell after starting his decent and suffered a laceration to his head and knee as well as a broken wrist. A Life Guard Helicopter responded from Anchorage and along with an Alaska State Park Ranger searched the area until locating Nist on the mountain. The Life Guard helicopter was unable to land due to steep rocky terrain. The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted and launched a rescue helicopter, which traveled to the location. Para rescue men were lowered to the scene to stabilize Nist and then the trio was hoisted into the rescue helicopter. Nist was eventually transported to Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage where he received treatment for the injuries he sustained in the fall.

Motor Vehicle Collision - Injury
COOPER LANDING: On July 27 at approximately 1:35 p.m., Soldotna Troopers responded to a two-vehicle collision with injuries near mile 53 of the Sterling Highway. An investigation revealed that Joel Ribbens of Kenai was Southbound in a 2005 Toyota Camry when he struck the rear of a 2007 Chevy pickup being operated by Patricia Gosch of Colorado who was stopped for a vehicle that was turning. Ribbens and Gosch were treated and released on scene by EMS with minor injuries. Ribbens was issued a citation for Failure to Exercise Due Care.

Motor Vehicle Collision - Injury, No Vehicle Insurance
COOPER LANDING: On July 27 at approximately 7:37 a.m., Troopers based out of Soldotna responded to a single vehicle rollover near mile 53 of the Sterling Highway. The vehicle was a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer driven by Kareena L. Goudeaux-Smith, age 31 of Anchorage. Investigation revealed that Goudeaux-Smith was driving the Blazer near mile 53 of the Sterling Highway, drove off the road onto the shoulder, over corrected, and rolled the vehicle one time. Members of Cooper Landing Fire/EMS, and Soldotna CES transported both driver and passenger to the Soldotna Hospital with injuries. Further investigation revealed that Goudeaux-Smith did not have vehicle insurance on the Blazer and was subsequently summonsed to appear in court for Failure to have Valid Liability Vehicle Insurance.

Vehicle Explosion
TURNGAIN PASS: On August 1 at approximately 7 a.m., Troopers responded to mile 69 of the Seward Highway at the report of a travel trailer that had exploded. An investigation revealed that Frank O’brien age 64 and Corey O’brien age 53, both from Kenai, were camping near Lion Creek in Turnagain Pass in their 22-foot travel trailer. When Corey lit a match to ignite the propane stove there was a large explosion, ripping the walls and roof off of the trailer. Both Corey and Frank were injured as a result of the explosion, and the explosion temporarily stunned both. The trailer was a complete loss and both the O’Brien’s were transported to Providence Hospital in Anchorage for treatment of their injuries. There was one dog in the trailer, which was burned in the explosion. It was transported to a veterinarian hospital in Anchorage for treatment.

Motor Vehicle Collision - Damage, Driving Under the Influence
GIRDWOOD: On August 1 at approximately 1:45 p.m., a Trooper from Girdwood responded to mile 106 of the Seward Highway following a report of a motor vehicle collision. A scene investigation revealed that Michael Wilson, age 48 of Anchorage, was traveling North on the Seward Highway when a tire from his travel trailer detached after the axle failed. The tire traveled into a turnout and struck the open passenger door of a parked Subaru wagon. The tire missed Nancy Brooks, age 70 of Vermont, by only a few inches. Further investigation showed that Wilson had been driving under the influence of alcohol. He was eventually transported to the Anchorage Jail and remanded on the charge of DUI with a bail of $3,500 plus a court approved third party custodian. Anchorage area tow companies removed Wilson’s vehicle and trailer and the Subaru wagon from the scene.

Warrant Arrest
GIRDWOOD: On August 2 at approximately 4:58 p.m., Girdwood Troopers stopped a vehicle near mile 99 of the Seward Highway for speeding 80 mph in a posted 65 mph zone in the Safety Corridor. The driver was identified as Mia L. Tornatore age 23, of Girdwood. Tornatore was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest for fail to pay a speeding fine. Tornatore was arrested and transported to Anchorage Jail. Bail was set at $157.00 cash. Tornatore was also cited for speeding 80 mph in a posted 65 mph zone in the safety corridor.

Operating With A Suspended Driver’s License, Speeding
GIRDWOOD: On August 3 at 4:21 p.m., a Girdwood Trooper initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for speeding 80 mph in a posted 65 mph zone near mile 98 of the Seward Highway in the safety corridor. An investigation revealed the driver of the vehicle, Lindsey S. Bryant, age 58 of Homer, was operating with a suspended driver’s license. Bryant was issued a summons to appear in court. Bryant was also issued a traffic citation for speeding. The vehicle w s released to a licensed driver.

Driving Under the Influence
COOPER LANDING: On August 3 at around 10:00 p.m., a Cooper Landing based State Trooper stopped a vehicle at 48.5 mile of the Sterling Highway after it was reported as a REDDI. The sole occupant and driver, Troy Warren Smith, 52, of Anchorage, was subsequently arrested for DUI. Smith was transported to Seward Jail and remanded without incident.