Senate hopeful Miller cited in Fairbanks car crash

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010

ANCHORAGE - The candidate who defeated U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Republican primary has been cited for his role in a recent three-car collision in Fairbanks.

Joe Miller was involved in the crash in his hometown three days after the Aug. 24 election and before the conservative lawyer's surprise victory in the tight race was confirmed last week in the counting of thousands of absentee votes and questioned ballots. Murkowski conceded Aug. 31 to Miller, whose campaign is backed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express.

Alaska State Troopers said Miller's vehicle rear-ended a vehicle driven by Denali Park resident James Raisis, who then rear-ended a car driven by Mark Lewis of Fairbanks. Miller was cited last week with failing "to exercise due care to avoid a collision" in the Aug. 27 wreck on Geist Road.

Troopers said no one was hurt in the collision, although Lewis said he had some cervical stiffness and numbness in some fingers.

Lewis also was cited - with stopping on a highway.

Miller's campaign manager, Robert Campbell, said Monday he doesn't think Miller will challenge the citation.

Campbell said Miller was two cars back and had no time to avoid the collision after the middle vehicle braked suddenly behind the first car, which was at a "completely dead stop."

He said Miller, 43, was traveling at only 35 mph.

"Anytime you hit the guy in front of you, it's assumed you were going too fast, without taking into account any conditions or any extraneous actions around you," Campbell said.

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