Driver wasn't drinking before fatal accident

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2004

The 19-year-old driver killed Oct. 30 in a vehicle collision with a rock wall on Glacier Highway wasn't drinking before the accident, police reported Wednesday.

Brant Cooper had no "drugs of abuse" in his system, according to a report from the Alaska State Crime Laboratory, Lt. Jerry Nankervis said.

The autopsy that produced negative tests for alcohol and other drugs also found that Cooper died of "blunt-force trauma."

Two 17-year-old girls riding in the car, Erin Scheidecker and Patricia Brown, were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the accident. Their conditions were unavailable.

Cooper reportedly was driving outbound toward the end of the road about 30 miles from downtown when the accident occurred. Police reported the day of the accident that he was ejected from the vehicle. One or both of the passengers also was ejected from the vehicle.

Nankervis said the vehicle was moving sideways when it hit the wall, forcing it to roll upside down.

"Seat belts probably would have helped," he said, noting that injuries were related to being thrown from the vehicle.

He also said speed appeared to be a factor, but did not have an estimate as to how fast the vehicle was going.

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