Richard Crow, 12-24-05

Man charged as 42-year-old is run over by snow machine

The Associated Press
Published: December 28, 2005

CIRCLE, Alaska (AP) - A Circle man died after he was hit by a snowmobile and Alaska State Troopers say manslaughter charges against the driver have been forwarded to the district attorney's office.

Troopers said Richard Crow, 42, on Christmas Eve was lying on the Steese Highway near Circle. He was struck by a snowmobile driven by Jack Boyle Jr., 29.

Troopers said Boyle was driving north when he saw Crow on the icy road.

"He was unable to stop or slow or avoid the collision," said trooper spokesman Tim DeSpain.

He struck Crow's upper body.

Troopers said Boyle told them he knew the snowmobile's brakes were out. He was driving at least 50 mph on a road with a 30 mph speed limit, troopers said.

Snowmobiles are not allowed on the Steese Highway.

People who said they were with both men that day told them the two had been drinking, troopers said.

Boyle was arrested Sunday on an outstanding warrant for vehicle theft and assault, troopers said. He remained jailed Wednesday at Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Circle, population 100, is on the south bank of the Yukon River, 160 miles northeast of Fairbanks. It is at the east end of the Steese Highway.

"It's more than likely they knew each other quite well," DeSpain said of the two men.

Grand jury indicts man in Circle death

MANSLAUGHTER: Snowmachine ran over victim on Christmas Eve.

The Associated Press

Published: February 4, 2006

FAIRBANKS -- A grand jury indicted a Circle man on a charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of Richard Crow, run over by a snowmachine last Christmas Eve.

Authorities still do not know why Crow, 42, was on his back in the middle of the road when 28-year-old Jack Boyle allegedly ran over him with the snowmachine.

However, authorities say that Crow saw Boyle coming. Autopsy reports show Crow looked back at the driver of the snowmachine a second before he was struck and killed, according to Alaska state trooper Michael Potter.

"He was conscious," Potter said.

Boyle was speeding when he hit Crow, and the brakes on his snowmachine did not work, according to court records.

The incident happened in a residential area outside the heart of Circle. The village of 99 people lies on the south bank of the Yukon River at the end of the Steese Highway about 160 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

The incident happened about 5:30 p.m., after Crow left a friend's house, saying he planned to go home and read, said Crow's mother, Ruth Crow.

"He was bundled up for the weather," she said.

Crow had been drinking, but he was not inebriated, his mother said. Troopers suspect Boyle, who was wanted by police, had been drinking as well.

Ruth Crow thinks her son fell on the slippery road. She said Boyle had been barreling around the village on his sled all day.

Boyle cooperated with troopers. He was arrested Dec. 25 on unrelated charges and remains in jail.

Man convicted of homicide after he ran over his friend with snowmobile

Published: June 1, 2006

FAIRBANKS -- A Circle man was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a friend run over by a snowmobile on Christmas Eve.

Jack Boyle, 28, let out a breath and slumped in his chair after Superior Court Judge Randy Olsen read the guilty verdict in the death of Richard Crow.

Prosecutors argued for a manslaughter conviction, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The jury opted for the lesser offense, for which Boyle could be sentenced up to 10 years.

Jurors issued a statement seeking leniency for Boyle.

"This incident was a tragic accident, and therefore we ask the court to show leniency with regard to judgment," the statement said.

Circle is on the Yukon River about 160 miles northeast of Fairbanks at the end of the Steese Highway.

Crow, 42, had been drinking alcohol and was lying on his back on the road for unknown reasons when he was struck.

The speed limit at the scene is 30 mph. Crow died almost immediately after he was struck by Boyle, who was driving as fast as 50 mph on a snowmobile with no brakes, bad steering and dim lights.

Authorities said they suspected Boyle had been drinking. Bad weather kept Alaska State Troopers from landing a plane in Circle the night Crow died to determine whether Boyle was impaired.

Public defender Paul Canarsky said Boyle may appeal.

"Richard Crow was a close friend of Jack Boyle's," Canarsky said. "This was a tragic loss for both families and the community of Circle."

A snowmobile mechanic testified that brakes would not have helped Boyle stop the 2002 Polaris in the seconds before he saw Crow because of glare ice.

-- The Associated Press