The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

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Man dies in highway accident


On another heavy-traffic afternoon on the Seward Highway, a man was killed in an accident involving six vehicles and two trailers at the turnoff to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The highway was closed for 10 hours.

Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna received the first report at 12:18 p.m. of the multiple-vehicle accident with multiple injuries and one person was unresponsive.

According to the trooper dispatch online, three vehicles were stopped in the northbound lane waiting for the first vehicle to turn into the conservation center. The third vehicle was a pickup towing a fifth wheel trailer. A tour bus with 42 passengers crashed into the pickup and trailer before going into the southbound lane where it collided with a southbound GMC Yukon. The Yukon driver, John Zollner, was declared dead at the scene.

Subsequently five more vehicles were involved in the accident.

Troopers from several posts responded, as well as fire departments, Anchorage police, U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Department of Transportation Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Alaska Bureau of Investigations, State Medical Examiner’s Office, Life Med helicopter ambulance and Good Samaritan motorists. Three people were transported to Anchorage with critical injuries.

Traffic was stopped in both directions while investigation and cleanup took place.

Investigation is ongoing.

On July 3, a motorcyclist was killed in an accident 13 miles north of Friday’s accident.

Plans were already underway by the Alaska Department of Transportation to renovate the section of Seward Highway from Mile 75 to 90, according to Alaska Dispatch News. The project, using state and federal funds, isn’t likely to begin before 2017.


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