A Kodiak woman died Thursday morning, two weeks after she was allegedly run over by a truck driven by her fiancé and father of her infant child, according to court documents.
William Miller, 27, was charged with felony manslaughter and misdemeanor driving under the influence for allegedly running over Laura Fehrs, after she fell out of the truck in which the couple was driving to pick up their son on May 13.
According to the documents, Fehrs sustained damage to her head and torso, and was unconscious when Alaska State Troopers arrived at the scene of the incident on West Rezanof Drive and Tom Stiles Road.
She was transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center by medics and then medevaced to Anchorage where she was listed in critical condition, the court documents stated.
The creator of a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Fehrs and her son said Fehrs had sustained multiple spinal fractures, internal bleeding, collapsed lungs and swelling of the brain “amongst a multitude of other things.”
At a court hearing on Thursday, Dennis Johnson, representing the private company Alaska Pretrial, said Fehr’s life support had been terminated.
According to the court documents, when troopers arrived on the scene of the incident, Miller was yelling, “I just ran my wife over.” He told troopers that she jumped out of their moving truck.
He also told troopers that he and Fehrs had just left the Rendezvous Bar after having a couple of drinks. He said that just before leaving the bar, they had been arguing about who was going to drive, but “sorted the matter out,” stated the documents.
In the truck, they got into another argument and “she just jumped out,” Miller told troopers.
He remembered hearing the door open but continued driving while pleading with her to close the door.
Miller said that Fehrs only opened the door once and said he stopped as soon as he felt the vehicle run her over. Afterward, he ran to her location and placed a T-shirt under her head and stayed by her side until medics arrived.
The truck had no reported “abnormalities or malfunctions that would have caused the passenger to come out of the vehicle and/or prevent him from stopping immediately upon incursion of such an emergency,” the court documents stated.
The trooper who spoke to Miller at the scene reportedly smelled alcohol on Miller’s breath and noticed that his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and that his speech was slurred.
During the trooper’s conversation with Miller, the fisherman fell to the ground twice, said the documents.
Miller reportedly admitted that he had consumed several beers while at the bar.
After conducting several standardized field sobriety tests, the trooper placed Miller under arrest for driving under the influence and for assault. However, after Fehrs died, the assault charge was changed to a manslaughter charge on Thursday.
Following an investigation, the trooper collected accounts from witnesses who said they had observed the couple arguing at the Rendezvous Bar and in the car.
Witnesses also allegedly saw Miller driving faster than the speed limit, and saw Miller and Fehrs arguing, “apparently struggling (physical altercation) with each other inside the vehicle,” said the court documents.
Witnesses observed the passenger side door open “at least four times” before Fehrs fell from the moving vehicle.
Physical evidence collected at the scene indicated that the truck did not stop until it had traveled another 150 feet after Fehrs had been run over.
Troopers arrested Miller at the scene of the incident and transported him to the Kodiak Jail.
On Thursday, the judge allowed Miller to be released from jail and placed under house arrest with family members. His child is under the custody of Fehrs family members.
However, the judge denied a request to allow Miller to work on a fishing boat on which he had previously worked, saying it would require another hearing. Bail was set at $50,000.
The charges against Miller are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
He will also be placed on real-time active facial recognition alcohol monitoring and will have to provide at least five random alcohol tests per day.
As of Thursday, the GoFundMe campaign launched before Fehrs died had reached $11,000 toward its $30,000 goal.