A woman was arrested Tuesday evening after Anchorage police say that, while driving under the influence, she ran into a light pole, which then fell, killing a dog and seriously injuring a young girl.
Officers were called to the intersection of Cleo Avenue and Lake Otis Parkway at 8:09 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the Anchorage Police Department said in a written statement.
Kathleen T. Dahl, 39, had reportedly been driving a 1991 Chevy pickup southbound on Lake Otis Parkway before the crash occurred. She was seen “speeding, swerving, and hitting the curb,” police said.
Charging documents say a man was out walking his dog along with his 10-year-old daughter when he saw Dahl’s truck getting close to the sidewalk.
At the corner of Cleo Avenue, Dahl “drove onto the sidewalk and hit a light pole,” police said. The man, fearing that he and his daughter would be hit, pushed the girl into the bushes, and he also landed in the bushes, charging documents say.
The pole fell over, hitting Dahl’s truck, the girl and dog. The girl suffered “very severe injuries” to her leg, charging documents say. The dog died at the scene. The girl was taken to a local hospital. Dahl wasn’t hurt.
Witnesses took Dahl’s keys from the pickup, police said. Dahl stayed at the crash site. Officers “could smell alcohol coming from her,” police wrote.
Dahl “performed poorly” in three standardized field sobriety tests, court documents say. About an hour after the crash, Dahl blew a breath alcohol content of 0.355.
Dahl told officers she was stumbling because she had cancer that hadn’t been diagnosed. She later admitted to drinking four shots of whiskey, according to charging documents.
Dahl was then taken the Anchorage jail. She was charged with first-degree assault, as well as second- and third-degree assault, operating under the influence, and reckless endangerment, court documents say.
Dahl faces an additional charge of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance after correctional officers found cocaine in her jacket pocket while she was being processed.
Dahl was in custody at the Anchorage jail on Wednesday. Her initial court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.