Crews in a LifeMed helicopter prepare to transport a victim of a two-vehicle fatal car crash on July 7, 2019, near Mile 142 Sterling Highway, Happy Valley, Alaska. The driver of one car involved in the crash, Michael Franklin, 18, of Palmer, Alaska, died of his injuries at the scene. (Photo by Jon Marsh/Anchor Point Fire and EMS)

Crews in a LifeMed helicopter prepare to transport a victim of a two-vehicle fatal car crash on July 7, 2019, near Mile 142 Sterling Highway, Happy Valley, Alaska. The driver of one car involved in the crash, Michael Franklin, 18, of Palmer, Alaska, died of his injuries at the scene. (Photo by Jon Marsh/Anchor Point Fire and EMS)

Palmer man killed in two-vehicle collision near Happy Valley

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct where Michael Franklin was from. He was from Palmer.

A two-vehicle collision killed a Palmer man on Sunday near Happy Valley on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Authorities pronounced Michael Franklin, 18, dead from his injuries at the scene. His family has been notified.

According to Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Ken Marsh, investigating troopers said they believe the crash happened as Franklin drove north near Mile 142 Sterling Highway and his green Subaru crossed into the oncoming lane, hitting a pickup truck driven by 39-year-old Garrett Bowley. Troopers said Barrett tried to avoid hitting the Subaru but could not avoid the impact.

According to a press release from Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services Acting Chief Jon Marsh, EMTs and firefighters arrived at about 4:20 p.m. to find the Subaru engulfed in flames. Thirteen Anchor Point firefighters and EMTs responded with a rescue engine, a tanker, two ambulances and other vehicles. Ninilchik EMS also provided an engine, two ambulances and nine firefighters and EMTs. Initial attack crews knocked down the fire quickly.

Medics treated three patients from the truck with non-life threatening injuries and took them to South Peninsula Hospital. A LifeMed helicopter and crew transported a patient with more critical injuries to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Marsh said troopers did not find any initial indication that drugs or alcohol was involved in the crash. Toxicology tests were done, but results will not be known for about eight weeks. Marsh said no charges have been filed because the apparent at-fault driver, Franklin, died.

In a text alert sent at 4:52 p.m., troopers wrote that the highway was temporarily closed near Mile 142 Sterling Highway. In a follow-up text at 6:32 p.m., troopers wrote that a detour around the collision had opened the highway, about a 1 hour, 40 minute closure. Troopers closed the highway not only so firefighters could put out the fire and EMTs could treat the injured, but so the LifeMed helicopter could land in the road.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

A pickup truck involved in a fatal car crash on July 7, 2019, rests on the side of the road near Mile 142 Sterling Highway, Happy Valley, Alaska. The pickup truck driver survived, but the driver of a second car involved in the crash, Michael Franklin, 18, of Palmer, Alaska, died of his injuries. (Photo by Jon Marsh/Anchor Point Fire and EMS)

A pickup truck involved in a fatal car crash on July 7, 2019, rests on the side of the road near Mile 142 Sterling Highway, Happy Valley, Alaska. The pickup truck driver survived, but the driver of a second car involved in the crash, Michael Franklin, 18, of Palmer, Alaska, died of his injuries. (Photo by Jon Marsh/Anchor Point Fire and EMS)

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