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Drunk driver runs over pedestrians, killing 1

Katie Basile

Two people were critically injured over the weekend after they attempted to cross the street and were struck by a driver who police say was drunk. One of the victims was flown to Anchorage for urgent medical care but later died from their injuries.

According to a Bethel Police Department report, the police were called at around 11:28 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25 by a caller who noticed two adult males lying in the road near 3rd Avenue and Jacob’s Way. When the officers arrived, they determined that the two men had been struck by a car which had left the scene, according to the report. The report also said that the Bethel Fire Department responded and transported both victims to the nearby Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital.

Bethel Police Chief Leonard “Pete” Hicks said that although the investigation is ongoing, they determined that Bethel resident Jayme Kathryn Watson was the driver of the vehicle. Watson has been charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and fleeing the scene of an accident. She is currently being held at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.

Because one of the victims has died, Hicks said that additional charges will be added to the case that is filed with the District Attorney’s Office. Police did not name the two men, saying that their families still need to be notified.

This is the second alcohol-related incident involving a vehicle in less than a week. Hicks said that the department will dedicate an officer to traffic enforcement and wants community members to call police if they have any additional information regarding this incident. The Bethel Police Department phone number is 907-543-3781; the case number is 2309780.

Francisco Martínezcuello is the KYUK News Reporting Fellow and a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.