Fairbanks man pleads innocent to manslaughter

Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man pleaded innocent Tuesday to a charge of manslaughter in connection with a September car accident that killed a Lathrop High School student.

Alaska State Troopers said Kirk Jackson, 32, was driving his truck on the Old Steese Highway Sept. 30 when he swerved into the oncoming lane, colliding head-on with a sedan driven by Heather Dowdy, 17. She suffered multiple injuries and died at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital later that day.

Jackson was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for facial injuries. Hospital records indicate he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29, almost three times the legal limit, at the time of he was admitted. Troopers said icy conditions on both sides of the road also contributed to the crash.

In addition to manslaughter, Jackson was also charged with driving while intoxicated. He had previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated after a 1988 incident in which troopers pulled him over for weaving across the center line of the Richardson Highway.

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