First snow of season leads to traffic accidents

Monday morning brought light snow to some parts of the Kenai Peninsula for the first time this season.

Shortly after 6 a.m, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities issued several warnings of slippery road surfaces, with light snow, packed snow and ice on Kalifornsky Beach Road, the Kenai Spur Highway between Soldotna and Kenai and the Sterling Highway between Mile 111 — near Johnson Lake State Recreation Area in Kasilof — and mileposts around Sterling.

As of Monday afternoon, Central Emergency Services Captain Reed Quinton said his department had responded to five accidents in roughly the same area.

“We’ve had kind of a combination of different accidents,” Quinton said. “We’ve had rollovers and multi-car collisions. We definitely have noticed an increase in collisions with the road conditions.”

The first of the morning’s accidents happened on Kalifornsky Beach Road and was called in to CES at 7:25 a.m. Others occurred on the Sterling Highway at 11:20 a.m and in Kasilof at 9:40 a.m.

Cars flipped in two of the accidents — CES responded to a rollover involving two vehicles on Mackey Lake Road near Soldotna at 11:02 a.m. and another a single-vehicle rollover in Kasilof at 8:19 a.m.

None of the accidents were fatal, although cars were severely damaged and three people were transported to Central Peninsula Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Quinton said.

On the western peninsula, the snowfall seemed to be locally concentrated. While Soldotna had an uneven coating of snow, it was limited to small patches in Kenai.

Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters quoted Trooper Lt. Dane Gilmore, deputy commander of the Soldotna-based E Detachment, as estimating that there had been about 20 accidents Monday morning on the Kenai Peninsula, many of which were minor and didn’t require a rescue response.

 

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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