Construction company says its trucks weren’t involved in boy’s death

Construction company says its trucks weren’t involved in boy’s death

Construction company Granite Construction says its gravel trucks weren’t involved in an incident July 19 that killed an 8-year-old boy.

Noah Schwebach, of Eagle River, died at mile 58.7 of the Sterling Highway on July 19 after a large rock fell off an oncoming truck and crashed through the windshield of his family’s car, striking and killing him. The area where he was killed is under construction during an Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities highway expansion and rehabilitation project, contracted to Granite Construction.

The truck involved wasn’t identified immediately, and Alaska State Troopers are working with witnesses and Granite Construction to figure out what happened. On Thursday, a spokesperson for Granite Construction said in an emailed statement that the company had internally investigated and preliminarily found that it only had one truck involved in the project at the time of the accident, and it does not match witnesses’ descriptions of the truck involved.

“The Granite truck was traveling southbound toward our pit, which is near MP 63.5,” the statement reads. “Additionally, we have determined that at the time of the incident our truck was some distance away, traveling 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.”

The company is still working with troopers, who have indicated that they did not believe Granite Construction’s trucks were involved, according to the statement.

In an update issued July 21, troopers said they had tentatively identified the truck involved and were trying to determine what the circumstances were, including what the vehicle was hauling at the time, according to the dispatch. Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to call the Soldotna trooper post at 262-4453.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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