Sterling Hwy contractor claims no involvement in fatal rock fall
The construction company working on the Sterling Highway where a boy was killed by a rock that fell from a truck last week claims it wasn’t responsible for the incident.
Granite Construction staff released a statement Thursday that only one of their vehicles was being used during state road upgrades in the area where 8-year-old Noah Schweback of Eagle River died. That vehicle wasn’t involved in the incident during which Alaska State Troopers say a “volleyball-sized rock” fell off a truck and fatally struck Noah in the back seat of a passing hatchback.
Granite Construction's full statement reads as follows:
On behalf of Granite, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Schwebach family. Following the tragic incident last week, we initiated our own investigation. Our investigation has confirmed the following: At the time of the incident, Granite had one truck hauling material on this section of the Sterling Highway project. There were no subcontractors or other vehicles related to Granite’s project that were hauling material on that section of roadway at that time. Our truck does not match the description of the truck that eye witnesses said was involved in the incident. The Granite truck was traveling southbound toward our pit, which is near MP 63.5. Additionally, we have determined that at the time of the incident our truck was some distance away, travelling empty back to the pit. We believe that the truck that caused the incident was unrelated to our project, driving material southbound on the Sterling Highway.
Granite continues to assist and cooperate with the investigation. Officials investigating this matter have never indicated to us that they believe our truck, or our driver, were involved. We cannot confirm if the authorities have tentatively identified the truck involved. Any questions related to the official investigation should be directed to the Alaska State Troopers or the Alaska Department of Transportation.
Asked about the Granite statement Friday, troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain declined to confirm or deny its details.
“Essentially we don't have any comment on that at this time,” DeSpain said. “It's still under investigation.”
Troopers had nothing further to say Friday about Schwebach’s death, DeSpain said.
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