Man charged with texting while driving after landing in ditch

A man who drove his car down a steep embankment last summer has been charged with texting while driving. In a criminal complaint filed last week, Alaska State Troopers charged Michael D. Mobley, 23, with driving a motor vehicle with a screen device operating, the formal charge for driving a car while having a TV, video monitor, portable computer or other similar device visible to the driver.

In the complaint, troopers wrote that at about 5:40 p.m. June 2, dispatchers received a report that Mobley drove off and down a steep embankment near Mile 167 Sterling Highway near Diamond Ridge Road. His car went down the east side of the road and hit a spruce tree, but stayed upright. 

Troopers said Mobley admitted he had been distracted right before the crash because he checked text messages on his cell phone. Two witnesses driving behind Mobley also told troopers that his car appeared to drift to the right and then slid down the embankment.

Although Mobley did not have a working seat belt, he was not injured, troopers said. The crash did cause extensive damage to his car. Troopers had forwarded charges to the Kenai District Attorney’s office last June, but charges were not filed until this month.


Driver goes into Anchor River

Associated Press

A 69-year-old Soldotna driver crashed through a guardrail and landed in the Anchor River. Alaska State Troopers say April Williams was driving a sport utility vehicle south just after 5 p.m. Jan. 15 at Mile 162 Sterling Highway when she lost control. 

The SUV crossed the northbound lane, crashed through the barrier and plunged into the river. A wildlife trooper witnessed the crash. He  stopped and helped Williams out of the SUV.

She wore a seat belt and was not injured.

Troopers say she was cited for speeding.