Thursday, May 23, 2013
Fourth Of July Weekends Marred By Major Crashes
Recent holiday weekends marked by at least one major crash that injures, if not kills, at least one person
ANCHORAGE—In recent years, the Fourth of July weekend has been marred by at least one major crash that’s injured, if not killed, at least one person.
“Usually on holiday weekends, it's a long weekend, people get out there especially if you have gorgeous weather,” said Troopers spokesperson Beth Ipsen.
But Alaska’s roads can be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly.
On Saturday afternoon on the Sterling Highway near Soldotna, Troopers say a 69-year-old Kasilof man was killed and his 65-year-old wife injured when a 16-year-old Soldotna boy crashed his truck, head-on, into theirs—the first fatal crash of the holiday weekend, Ipsen said.
“There doesn’t appear to be any alcohol or drugs involved,” she said. “They were not wearing their seat belts.”
On the same Independence Day weekend three years ago, in 2008, four people were killed in two separate crashes.
“We’re just a little over halfway through the Fourth of July weekend and we have fourth deaths,” Ipsen told CBS 11 News on July 5, 2008. “Those 4 deaths—none of them were wearing seatbelts.”
A year later, on July 4, 2009, a 30-year-old woman was killed near Portage on the Seward Highway when the driver of another vehicle hit hers head-on while trying to pass.
During last year’s Fourth of July weekend, on Fri., July 3, two people were hospitalized with critical injuries after a crash on the Seward Highway near the Dimond off-ramp.
“It's a holiday weekend,” Ipsen said. “People want to enjoy their weekend. There's nothing that's going to ruin it faster than spending that weekend in jail or in the hospital.”
According to reports by the state's office of highway safety, July is usually the deadliest month on Alaska roads. In 2007, 18 people were killed in the month of July alone. Last July, there were seven traffic fatalities.