Coach may be charged in hit-and-run accident

Thibodeau in truck when daughter drove into stopped vehicle

Posted: Friday, September 22, 2000

Charges are pending against local high school coach Guy Thibodeau for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident last week.

A 14-year-old girl was driving a Toyota about 2:45 p.m. last Friday outbound on Egan Drive when it rear-ended a Subaru driven by a 16-year-old boy, according to the police. The Subaru also was pushed into a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old girl, officers said.

"Traffic slowed because of a paving project, and the Subaru stopped," said Lt. Walt Boman of the Juneau Police Department. "It was struck by the Toyota going 30 to 40 miles per hour. The Subaru came to rest in the center median" near Sunny Point.

The Toyota left the scene, police said.

"About 30 minutes later, we were called by an adult who had been in the car advising he had been involved and his daughter was at track practice," Boman said Wednesday.

According to Penny Haley, mother of the teens in the Subaru, the 14-year-old was driving on a learner's permit, accompanied by Thibodeau.

Boman did not confirm Thibodeau's name, but said charges are pending with the district attorney's office against the adult for "failure to stop and give information and assistance immediately after the accident" a class C felony "because of the injuries involved."

He expected the charges will be submitted to a grand jury today or a week from today. The district attorney's office is evaluating possible charges against the 14-year-old girl, Boman said.

Thibodeau is the cross-country running coach at Juneau-Douglas High School and a former coach with the University of Alaska Anchorage. Thibodeau said he had no comment.

"I don't think I have anything to say right now," he said Thursday. "I'm waiting to see what they will do."

The incident was not included in the daily blotter information from the Juneau Police Department. But Haley said her son, Jeffrey, 16, was driving the Subaru when it was struck by a Toyota pickup.

Michelle Haley, 14, riding in the back seat of the Subaru, was injured. She was screaming in pain, distracting her brother from what else was happening at the scene, Penny Haley said.

Michelle was put on a backboard by EMTs and taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital. "She had no fracture but she was bruised and had neck spasms," Penny Haley said.

Later the day of the incident, Jeffrey began to feel pain. He was taken to Bartlett and also treated for whiplash. The Subaru had an estimated $5,000 damage.



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