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Family and Friends Reflect on Victim Killed in Alleged Drunk Driving Crash in East Anchorage

July 09, 2013|By Samantha Angaiak | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, AK — A church in Mountain View filled up with family and friends of a young Anchorage woman killed in what police say was a alcohol-related crash June 30 in East Anchorage.

The New Hope Baptist Church held a funeral service for Citari Townes-Sweatt, 20, Tuesday morning.

Lanita Sweatt, Citari’s mother, was among many who spoke at the podium and said nothing could have prepared her for losing her daughter that Sunday morning.

"I thought that when these things happen, you would at least get some kind of sign or something," Sweatt said.

Family members say Townes-Sweatt was driving with friends on their way to a party in her 2004 Monte Carlo she bought two days before the crash with money she earned while working at Costco.

Anchorage police say the collision happened at the intersection of Boniface Parkway and Debarr Road when a 2006 Chrysler 300 ran a red light and hit Townes-Sweatt's Monte Carlo shortly before five in the morning. Police say JBER airman Lane Wyatt, 22, was behind the wheel of the Chrysler 300.


According to charging documents, Wyatt told officers he consumed three beers and five shots of alcohol before driving. He has been charged with manslaughter, four counts of first degree assault, three counts of third degree assault and one count of driving under the influence.

Military members attended the memorial service, showing their support for Townes-Sweatt's family.

Townes-Sweatt's sister, Jamaesha Sweatt said her sister told her a week before the crash she wouldn't want anyone to be sad at her funeral.

"She said, you know 'When I die, I hope you guys celebrate my life," Sweatt said.

Sweatt says her sister brought happiness to all of the lives she touched.

"Citari was the best sister ever, she laughed, she joked...she liked to have fun," Sweatt said.

Family members say Citari was full of life and accomplished a lot in her brief life.

"He called for her - he was ready for her to go home so whatever God had planned for her on this earth, she did it," Sweatt said.

Contact: Samantha Angaiak Articles