Accident on Seward Highway leaves 1 dead

One person has died and three more are in the hospital after an accident just north of the Turnagain Pass on Sunday afternoon.

Alaska State Troopers and emergency responders from Girdwood and Moose Pass were called to a two-vehicle accident around milepost 71.5 of the Seward Highway at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, according to an online trooper dispatch.

Upon investigation, they found that a southbound 2005 black Toyota Tundra pickup truck, driven by 65-year-old Patrick Strain of Anchorage, had crossed the center line into the northbound lane. A northbound 2012 white Ford Explorer, driven by 34-year-old Patrick Richmond of Wasilla, hit Strain’s truck, according to the dispatch.

Both vehicles had passengers. Joyce Strain, 65, also of Anchorage, was riding with Patrick Strain and was injured in the accident, later dying from her injuries, according to the dispatch. Patrick Strain, Richmond and a 5-year-old passenger in Richmond’s car were taken to Providence Health and Services Anchorage for medical treatment.

The troopers had not been informed of any other deaths related to the incident as of Monday, said Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters in an email.

The road was closed to traffic intermittently as needed while first responders were on scene and then as the investigation was ongoing, she said.

“Traffic was affected until we cleared from the scene at (11:32 p.m.),” she said.

Alcohol was not believed to be a factor and troopers believe everyone was wearing a seatbelt, according to the dispatch. The troopers impounded both vehicles for later investigation.

Warm air temperatures and an overnight snowfall Saturday made for slushy conditions on the roads. The investigation of the factors contributing to the accident is still ongoing, but Peters said the road was slushy along that section of the highway the time.

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