A two-vehicle collision near the Sterling Transfer Facility last Tuesday resulted in the medical airlift of a woman and young child for intensive care in Anchorage, according to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers. The collision, which occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, caused a temporary closure of the Sterling Highway at Milepost 85.5 near the transfer facility, the dispatch said.
Central Emergency Services from Sterling and Soldotna responded to the collision alongside Alaska State Troopers, the dispatch said.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management announced at around 11:50 a.m. that the highway had closed and encouraged motorists to avoid the area. One lane of traffic opened around 1 p.m. and both lanes were open as of 2:40 p.m.
According to the state trooper dispatch, the collision involved a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt passenger car and a 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup. Eyewitnesses said the Tacoma was traveling northbound and driving below the posted speed limit on the highway, which was icy, according to the dispatch.
The Cobalt, traveling southbound, began fishtailing and crossed into the opposite lane, the dispatch said. The Tacoma driver tried to veer right to avoid the collision, but struck the Cobalt on the passenger side with the front driver’s side of his pickup, the dispatch said.
The caller who reported the collision to emergency services reported that a woman and two young children were trapped in the Cobalt, the dispatch said. Both children were in the back seat and were in car seats, the dispatch said. The woman and both children, as well as the driver of the Tacoma, were taken by ambulance to Central Peninsula Hospital, the Tacoma driver for treatment of “minor injuries,” according to the dispatch.
The woman driving the Cobalt, as well as one of the young children, were flown to Anchorage to receive further intensive care, the dispatch said. Alaska State Troopers continue to investigate the incident.
While traveling in Alaska during the winter, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recommends motorists check conditions ahead of travel, prepare their vehicle for winter driving conditions and reduce speeds. Posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
Wearing seat belts, the use of studded tires and watching for ice on bridges and overpasses also make travel safer. Real-time traffic updates, including alerts about avalanche hazard reduction and closures, can be found on the DOT&PF 511 system at 511.alaska.gov.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.