Traffic deaths lead to charges

Two separate incidents of vehicle deaths, which occurred in 2010 and 2011, have resulted in criminally negligent homicide charges for two Alaska men. 


The individuals have been summoned to Kenai for arraignment on Tuesday, according to court records.

Thomas C. Dyer, of Kenai, has been charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide. The single charge stems from an April 23, 2011 accident that caused the death Kenai resident James Stutsman. 

At 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, Stutsman, 55, was riding his motorcycle when he collided with an SUV driven by then-26-year-old Dyer. The collision occurred at the intersection of the Kenai Spur Highway and Redoubt Street, Alaska State Troopers reported. 

Emergency responders rushed the victim to Central Peninsula Hospital, where he was declared dead. Stutsman was not wearing a helmet, troopers reported. 

Criminally negligent homicide is a class B felony and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 

Police issued Dyer a ticket for failing to stop at a red light in January 2012, but the charge was dismissed after the defendant finished a defensive driving course. Dyer also pleaded no contest to driving without insurance in 2007, according to court records. 

Anchorage resident Clifford J. Henderson has been charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide. The charges stem from a Nov. 6, 2010 head-on vehicle collision that killed two people visiting Nikiski for a church event. 

At 10:16 a.m., Paul Trissell, 68, was driving a 2000 Honda CRV southbound on the Kenai Spur Highway with his wife, Pamela Trissell, 55, as a passenger. A Peterbilt semi-truck without trailers traveling north crossed the centerline and crashed into the SUV near Mile 18 of the highway. The Trissells had pulled out of the church parking lot and driven about 200 to 300 feet when the crash occurred, troopers reported. 

Paul Trissell died on scene; Pamela Trissell was taken to CPH and pronounced dead at 12:48 p.m., troopers reported. 

Henderson was not injured in the collision, troopers reported. 

Henderson pleaded no contest to two non-criminal charges of driving with overweight axels; the offenses were in 2009 and 2010. 

Meanwhile, the death of a Kenai attorney remains unresolved two years after a vehicle collision took his life.

Peter Mysing, 59, sat in the passenger seat of his 2004 Ford Mustang with driver Elias Cobb, 20, of Kenai, when the car collided with a pickup in Old Town Kenai. Troopers pronounced Mysing, who specialized in defending drunk drivers, dead on scene at the time of the accident. 

The collision occurred at the corner of Overland Avenue and Mission Avenue, not far from Mysing’s log cabin law office, on Sept. 4, 2010. 

Investigators said Mysing rode with two others: Cobb and Ryan Hobbs, 20, also of Kenai, who sat in back. A 2001 Ford F-350 truck, driven by Thomas Byers, 46, of Anchorage with front passenger Jason Ross, 36, of Kenai, and a 15-year old Kenai male in back, hit the Mustang on its side.

The impact pushed the Mustang over a curb. The vehicle demolished a cluster of mailboxes, slid across a yard and hit the side of a home and business, said Beth Ipsen, troopers’ spokesperson, in 2010. 

The drivers of the vehicles have not been charged with minor traffic offenses, such as speeding or reckless driving, or more severe charges. Requests for information resulted in no new details as the report is not complete, troopers said. 

According to court records, Allstate Insurance Company filed a complaint in November 2010 against Byers, the driver of the Ford. 

Byers sought additional coverage for the wreck from Allstate, but the insurance company argued it owed no additional compensation. 

The court found that Allstate had no obligation to compensate Byers under two additional insurance policies. Both parties agreed to the judgment on March 29, 2011.

Other parties, including Cobb and the estate of Peter Mysing, were summoned to court for the civil case. 

None of those parties have sought compensation from each other during the two years since the accident, according to court records.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at 

Editor’s note: The article contained an error about Thomas C. Dyer’s motor offenses history. A ticket for speeding 20-plus miles over the speed limit was issued to a Thomas T. Dyer, not Thomas C. Dyer. Another charge, failing to stop at a red light, was added to the article.


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