Soldotna joggers struck by vehicle

A Soldotna man allegedly under the influence of controlled substances struck two joggers with his vehicle after veering off Kalifornsky Beach Road about 6:23 p.m. Wednesday evening.


Jeromy Hurlburt, 36, of Soldotna, was traveling south on Kalifornsky Beach Road toward the Funny River area near the Alaska State Trooper building when his red 1986 Audi 5000 veered into the opposing lanes and onto Centennial Park Road before traveling onto the bike path where he struck two pedestrians who were jogging, according to court records.

The joggers, 63-year-old Joan Miller and her 46-year-old daughter Melanie Papp both are Soldotna residents and were transported to Central Peninsula Hospital. A CPH spokesperson said Miller and Papp remained at the hospital as of 4 p.m. Thursday, but said the patients had not authorized the hospital to release their conditions.

However, Soldotna Police Sgt. Robb Quelland said both women were conscious when ambulances arrived late Wednesday.

Witnesses said the car was travelling about 45 to 50 miles per hour and the women were thrown over the hood on impact, according to court records.

“There’s a difference of opinion on what took place or why it happened,” Quelland said. “But he made an abrupt left turn ... and traveled up on to the bike path where the two people were jogging and struck them from their backside. They didn’t even see the car until it hit them.”

According to court records, Hurlburt said he heard something break under his car, causing it to veer left across the road. Police reported they could not find any broken parts. He also said he honked his horn to warn the women, according to records.

Hurlburt was found to allegedly be under the influence of drugs after performing poorly in a field sobriety test, according to records. He was arrested at the scene and charged with driving under the influence and two counts of third-degree assault. He later refused to freely provide police with a sample of his blood and was additionally charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test. According to court records, he was later transported to CPH where a sample of his blood was drawn.

While speaking with police, Hurlburt allegedly admitted he smoked marijuana five days earlier and consumed methamphetamine four days earlier and he was known by police to be a meth user, according to court reports.

Hurlburt was booked into Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

He has a number of prior charges including a 2010 case involving charges of theft and forgery among others; a 2006 charge of third degree assault; a 2005 charge of fourth degree assault; a 2004 case involving charges of first degree burglary and fourth degree criminal mischief; a 2003 case including charges of fourth degree criminal mischief, driving under the influence, refusal to submit a chemical test and assault in the fourth degree, among others.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 2 at the Kenai Courthouse.