1 dead in Parks Highway crash amid day of icy roads
A Thursday crash on the Parks Highway near Talkeetna left a woman dead, as ongoing freezing rain and other crashes were reported across the region on the Parks and Glenn Highways.
Alaska State Troopers said Thursday night that everyone involved in the two-vehicle crash, reported at Mile 97 of the highway just after 1 p.m., was taken to an area hospital where one of them -- identified Friday as 39-year-old passenger Margaret Reynolds -- died.
"Investigation revealed one vehicle was driving north on the Parks Highway when the driver lost control due to the icy road conditions," troopers wrote. "The vehicle crossing into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle head-on."
Reynolds had recently moved to Talkeetna from Mississippi, troopers said. Her next of kin have been notified.
Ken Barkley, the Mat-Su Borough’s deputy director for emergency services, said slick roads were reported at the time of the crash. The highway's southbound lanes were temporarily blocked by the collision, slowing traffic in the area.
State road-conditions website 511.alaska.gov reported "very difficult driving conditions" Thursday all over south Anchorage, on roads including C Street from International Airport Road to Dimond Boulevard; Dowling Road from Potter Drive to Seward Highway; Raspberry Road from Sand Lake Road to Minnesota and Jewel Lake Road from Dimond to Spenard.
There were also multiple reports of slick driving conditions in Hillside, east Anchorage and Midtown.
Anchorage police say there have been at least three vehicles that have slid off the Glenn Highway between the Fort Richardson exit and the S curves. APD dispatch says there have been four accidents so far this afternoon, three of which involved injuries. Additionally, they've had 17 calls for vehicles in ditches.
A sander was working on the Glenn, APD said.
Officials with the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said all of their available sanders are out working. They described the problem areas as the Glenn from Anchorage to the Parks Highway and on the Seward at Rabbit Creek.
DOTPF has 1,187 miles of road to cover in the Anchorage district-- with an additional 160 miles of sidewalks. There are seven sanders per shift and two people covering sidewalks-- though sidewalks are only covered dayside.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution and allow extra time for driving.
Multiple crashes snarl traffic on the Parks Highway
Conditions in the Mat-Su beyond the Parks were similarly dangerous Thursday afternoon, as a result of freezing rain which was expected to fall into the evening hours.
“It’s bad everywhere,” Barkley said. “The roads are extremely icy.”
Out in the Valley, Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said it's super icy out there. She confirmed an accident between two vehicles near Montana Creek on Thursday. Three people were sent to the hospital with injuries.
"The traffic was slow going or stopped for a period of time," Peters said.
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