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No timely response to REDDI report

By Shawn Kimberley


December 09, 2015
Wednesday AM

On the evening of December 7th 2015, A friend of mine and I were leaving A&P market heading north. It wasn't long at all before I realized that traffic was moving very slow, yes slower than normal even for Ketchikan. There were probably 12-15 cars in front of us and before long there was 20 plus cars behind us all forced to drive 25-30 miles per hour. By the time that we hit the Ward Cove area, the line of cars behind us was so long that you couldn't even see the end of it. As we passed the old pulp mill area, many of the cars in front of us had pulled off leaving me a view of the actual cause of the hold up. We saw an obvious drunk driver leading the pack.

Now let me tell you this was not the usual drunk driver that can't maintain speed, you know the ones that often swerve over the white or yellow lines. This driver was so drunk that not only could he not drive over 25-30 MPH, but he was swerving so bad that often he had 4 tires over the white and yellow lines. At this point I asked my Co-pilot to get the number for the Alaska state troopers. She called the trooper station and reported the make model license plate number and the location of the intoxicated driver. The dispatcher said that they would send somebody right out.

Shortly after our first call we watched this drunk driver almost hit a kid in the walking lane. It was so close it was scary. So immediately I got on my phone and called dispatch again and told them what we had just witnessed. I expressed my deepest concern to the dispatcher. Shortly after that phone call I received a call from an Alaskan state trooper. I again gave the make model location etc. I explained to the trooper that they needed to get there fast before this guy kills somebody! I told them that I was going to continue to follow the intoxicated driver to provide updates on his whereabouts. By this time we are almost to Settlers Cove.

The vehicle we were following eventually pulled down into Settlers Cove. We drove on past them and turned around at the end of the road. We then pulled off to the side of the road to await the troopers. Another 10 minutes goes by, And we see the vehicle pull back onto Tongass Highway heading south. Again we followed them hoping to see the trooper. However the vehicle saw us following them and pulled off at the second waterfall bridge. We again just drove on past. We noticed that the vehicle pulled out onto Tongass and headed back north.

Eventually we stopped at the end of the paved road and waited again to see a trooper. No such trooper was found. Now this has been at least 30 minutes since the first call to the Troopers station. I called yet again to inform dispatch of what we saw. The response I got from dispatch was that the trooper lost contact with me. I told him we were almost to Settlers. Anyway after realizing that the troopers were not taking the situation seriously, especially after telling them that this drunk driver had almost hit someone.

After realizing that we were getting nowhere talking to the troopers, We decided that we were just going to drive home. We had done all we could to help the troopers correct the situation. We were almost at the view point when we saw the trooper drive by. No lights on, no hurry at all. Unexcusable.

In my opinion the Troopers made no real effort to protect the public against what was a very real threat. In fact the troopers never did find or catch the guy. They took so long to respond, that the truck was gone when the trooper finally showed up.

Now we all know that the Troopers in this town don't hesitate to throw on the lights and sirens when it suits them. So to me, This was a poor attempt at protecting and serving the community.

It's pure luck that someone wasn't killed or hurt by this driver. I just wanted to make everyone aware that if you ever need assistance, I would not call the Alaska State troopers. It's clear to me that they are NOT here to protect or serve!!

Shawn Kimberley
Ketchikan, Alaska


Note: REDDI report (the acronym stands for "Report Every Dangerous/Drunk Driver Immediately") is a way for civilians to notify law enforcement when they notice dangerous driving conduct.


Received December 08, 2015 - Published December 09, 2015




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