State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Police response fell short in man's death

ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Police Department failed to follow correct procedures in its response to a man who died after he was found in a downtown alley last month, a city official said.

Municipal Manager Harry Kieling said Monday that the procedures used were either misunderstood or late in being implemented.

Dispatchers since have been retrained in how to deal with such calls.

David Kagoona, 49, was believed to be alive when a security guard found him Sept. 19 behind the Egan convention center and called police. Kagoona was dead 43 minutes later when help first arrived.

Police procedures state that when someone calls about an intoxicated person on the ground and the Community Service Patrol can't respond within 15 minutes, dispatchers are supposed to assign a high priority to the call and send an officer to check on the person immediately. That did not happen in Kagoona's case.

An autopsy determined Kagoona died of liver disease related to alcohol poisoning.

"The Fire Department, when they found out about it, they reacted immediately," said Kieling, who found no fault with the Fire Department's response.

Kieling did not blame the Police Department for Kagoona's death but told it to respond quicker to similar incidents in the future.

"We don't know whether or not any action sooner would have made any difference," he said.

Funds collected for former resident

JUNEAU - Family and friends are raising funds to help support a former Juneau resident who has brain cancer.

Vincent E. Oldaker, now living in Lost Creek, W.Va., underwent surgery for removal of a malignant tumor Oct. 4. "His illness is not curable in today's science, although we are going to try as many treatments as possible in an effort to give him more time to hang on for the cure," wrote his wife, Cherie Oldaker.

Friends of his family have set up an account to accept donations toward his medical costs: Special Donation Account for Vincent E. Oldaker, The Huntington National Bank, Rosebud Office, Route 19 South, Clarksburg, W.Va., 26301. Prayers also are appreciated, his family said.

Cards also can be sent to: The Oldaker Family, Route 2, Box 271-A, Lost Creek, W.Va, 26385. The phone number is (304) 745-3392.

Oldaker lived in Juneau from 1984 until 1994. He worked for the Alaska State Library and was very active in softball, fishing and hunting, said his wife.

Woman medevaced after vehicle crash

JUNEAU - Police said alcohol appears to have been a factor Monday night in a one-vehicle accident on Douglas Highway that left a woman with serious injuries.

Police and paramedics responded to the woman, who crashed her Plymouth Neon at about 7:30 p.m. Monday on North Douglas Highway near mile 5.5, police said. The woman hit a mail box and then crashed her vehicle into a ditch, police said.

The woman sustained a broken back as a result of the crash, said Bartlett Regional Hospital spokeswoman Marijo Toner.

The woman was taken to Bartlett, where she was tested for feeling in her legs because of the broken back, Toner said. The woman did have feeling in her legs and was airlifted at 3 a.m. today to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, where she is listed in stable condition, Toner said.

The woman's name is not being released, and the accident is under investigation.

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