A Sitka woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter. 37-year-old Triska See has been awaiting trial for the last three years, and this winter agreed to a plea deal for her involvement in a 2019 car accident at the Sitka Ferry Terminal that claimed one man’s life. Her sentencing was held Monday (4-24-23) in Juneau.
In February of 2020, Triska See was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges following a drunk driving accident at the Sitka Ferry Terminal three months earlier. 59-year-old Thomas Fuller died in the accident– he was unable to escape from the vehicle after it plunged down an embankment and into the water in Starrigavan Bay.
See was allegedly in the driver’s seat, but initially there was some uncertainty around the circumstances that led to the car ending up in the water, and conflicting information from statements. COVID also slowed the legal proceedings, with multiple hearings rescheduled in 2021, and a witness who was also in the vehicle when it crashed, passed away before the case could go to trial.
In December of last year, prosecution dismissed the murder and assault charges against See, and she pleaded guilty to manslaughter, DUI and possession. She agreed to a 14 year sentence with seven years suspended, seven to serve, and probation.
State prosecutor Amy Fenske felt the terms of the plea deal were fair.
“There were contradictory statements, essentially, as to whether this was simply Ms. See got out of the vehicle to smoke marijuana. Again, she’s operating a vehicle, [and] was extremely intoxicated…should not have been doing that. None of them should have been out at the ferry terminal,” Fenske said. “Whether she simply forgot to put the car in park, or whether it was something more nefarious, I think the evidence and weight of the evidence is that this is more of a manslaughter situation than a murder situation. And I think this resolution is absolutely appropriate.”
Two of Thomas Fuller’s family members spoke at the hearing. His sister Bridget Fuller described him as the ‘baby of the family’ – a commercial fisherman with a fun-loving and sunny disposition. His daughter Karly described him as her ‘best friend’ and said she’d felt robbed of a future with him.
“I’ll never be able to ask him questions, to ask him for advice. He’ll never walk me down the aisle. I just feel robbed of many years of life and memories,” Fuller said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of sentence you give her…It can’t replace the life, the loved one that we lost.”
See attended the sentencing hearing remotely from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. After the Fullers spoke, she read a short statement apologizing to the victims and their families.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Tom Fuller and Tracy Green for that unfortunate incident. I’m taking full responsibility and accountability to the best of my knowledge,” See said. “I would also like to apologize to the family of my victims. I’m standing here today asking for your forgiveness.”
Judge Trevor Stephens lamented what he called a ‘horrible situation’ and said that regardless of whether See had been charged with murder or manslaughter, no amount of time served would be commensurate with the loss of Thomas Fuller’s life.
“The family is going to have lifelong consequences because of the loss of their loved one. And I’m pretty sure that Mr. Fuller is not going to be far from your mind the rest of your life too,” Stephens said to See. “And it sounds like he was a friend of yours, and you’ll have the opportunity, hopefully for the next several decades, to show him, and to show your family in that community that you’ve learned from this.”
Judge Stephens also recommended See participate in a substance abuse treatment program while serving out the remainder of her sentence.