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Prosecutors consider more charges in fatal crash

Posted: April 8, 2012 - 11:02pm

FAIRBANKS — Prosecutors will await blood alcohol tests before deciding on additional charges in a traffic crash that killed two people on a rural road east of Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Paul Augustus Kirsteatter, 31, was arraigned Saturday on charges of felony assault, driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence. He was ordered held without bail.

According to Alaska State Troopers, early Saturday, Kirsteatter was driving a three-quarter ton pickup truck on Nordale Road and drifted into the southbound lane.

The pickup collided with a small car carrying four people who had spent Friday at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

The crash killed driver Colton J. Fettig, 22, of Corvallis, Ore., and Jordan W. Boggs, 22, of North Pole, who was riding in the back seat on the driver’s side.

Passengers Gerald Noy, 18, and Hannah Gustafson, 20, both of Fairbanks, were injured. Gustafson suffered a fractured sternum and ribs, a ruptured spleen and a collapsed lung, according to the criminal complaint. Noy suffered cuts and bruises but was able to walk.

Arresting officers said in court documents that Kirsteatter smelled of alcohol and had red, watery eyes when he was interviewed in the trauma room of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Noy told troopers he saw the truck approaching in the opposite lane with its high beam headlights on. He said Fettig flashed the car’s headlights to signal the truck. As the car approached the truck, Noy said, the truck veered into their lane.

The impact demolished both vehicles.

Kirsteatter was arraigned by videoconference from Fairbanks Correctional Center and had a cut on his forehead. Troopers said he was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown against the windshield.

Kirsteatter requested a public defender.

Kirsteatter was charged in July with felony assault near Delta Junction and was accused of pointing a gun at someone, said Assistant District Attorney Bill Spiers. He was free on bail. Kirsteatter was charged with reckless driving and driving with a suspended driver’s license in the same incident. Investigators said he had ignored a road construction flag crew, Spiers said.

He was charged again Jan. 19 with driving on a suspended driver’s license.

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