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Family files wrongful death lawsuit against hit-and-run driver

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The family of a Juneau biologist killed in a hit-and-run crash are suing the man now serving a prison term for the crime.

Harry Carlson, who was a biologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory at Auke Bay, died after being struck by Joel Taplin on July 21, 1999.

Carlson's wife, Shirley, and his son, Lloyd, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Juneau Superior Court asking for more than $50,000 in damages. They claim emotional distress and loss of earnings caused by the death.

Taplin, a teacher from New England who was in Juneau for a writing course at the University of Alaska Southeast, is being housed in an Arizona jail.

He received a five-year sentence with two years suspended after pleading no contest to charges of breach of duty as a vehicle operator to stop immediately after an accident and driving while intoxicated. Taplin could be released by Dec. 15, corrections officials said.

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