Second Arrest in Racing Death

Jay Barrett/KMXT

There has been another arrest in the fatal car accident on the Fred Zharoff Memorial Bridge nearly two weeks ago. Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai says 20-year-old Markryan Portillo, the driver of the car which crashed while racing on the bridge, was arrested yesterday and charged with second degree murder and first degree assault in the death of 19-year-old Austin Long, a passenger is his car.

Long was killed when Portillo’s car hit an on-coming pick up truck on the bridge, after being bumped by a car driven by 19-year-old William Mecham. The police estimate the cars were racing at speeds up to 60 mph on the quarter-mile-long bridge.

Mecham was previously charged with first degree murder and driving under the influence.

Kamai said the arrest of Portillo took 10 days because the grand jury didn’t hear the case until last Thursday and the court issued an arrest warrant on Monday. Portillo was injured in the accident and had been hospitalized, but is now housed at the Kodiak Jail.

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