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Fairbanks man who crashed vehicle onto Chena River charged

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:09 am | Updated: 6:31 am, Tue Feb 5, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks district attorney’s office has filed charges against the man who drove his father’s sports car through a fence along First Avenue and landed it upside down on the Chena River early on New Year’s Day.

Fairbanks resident Joshua Matthew Beane, 29, who was not seriously injured in the crash, was charged last week with reckless driving and failing to notify police of the accident, according to court records obtained Monday. Police forwarded charges to the district attorney about a week after the accident.

According to charging documents, Beane told police he wasn’t sure how the accident happened and left the scene because he was scared, though he was “unable to articulate what he was scared of.”

Beane was driving his father’s sports car, a 2006 Pontiac G6, when it slid through a stop sign at the intersection of First Avenue and Cowles Street, crashed through a decorative fence and landed upside down on the frozen river. Based on footprints in the snow at the crash scene, Beane crawled out the passenger’s window of the car and climbed up the riverbank before police arrived on scene at 7 a.m. after receiving a report of the crash.

The car was registered to Beane’s father, Leonard. When police contacted Leonard Beane, he told them he had let his son borrow the car the night before and had not heard from him since but would contact them when he did.

At 2 p.m., Leonard Beane called police and told them he found his son walking home and was taking him to the hospital for an evaluation. Police spoke with both Beanes at the hospital.

Joshua Beane told police he had several drinks on the night of Dec. 31 before going to sleep for several hours. When he woke up, Beane believed he was sober and decided to drive home. Beane told police he wasn’t sure how he ended up in the accident.

Joshua Beane told police he had lost his phone in the accident and was unable to call anyone, so he decided to walk home. Police were not able to determine exactly when the accident occurred or if Beane was intoxicated because too much time had passed by the time they were able to contact him.

“He wasn’t contacted until seven hours after the accident,” Lt. Eric Jewkes said. “That time frame makes it pretty difficult to prosecute a DUI case.”

According to DUI laws, a chemical breath test for alcohol needs to be given within four hours of driving, Jewkes said.

Attempts to reach Beane or his father on Monday were unsuccessful.

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