Icy road conditions contributed to two separate vehicle rollovers in Kenai Monday.
Shane Fortune, 19, was driving his 2004 Pontiac Grand Am on Marathon Road when he lost control on a curve, went off the road and overturned at about 6:40 p.m. Monday. Alaska State Troopers Bureau of Highway Patrol responded to the accident.
Fortune and three passengers suffered minor injuries and were released on scene. All four occupants reported wearing their seatbelts. The vehicle was totaled and towed away. Fortune was issued a speeding citation, according to a trooper dispatch.
Earlier Monday morning a vehicle slid off Bridge Access Road in Kenai after the driver, a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit, hit a patch of ice. The minivan he was driving southbound toward Kalifornsky Beach Road went into the ditch and rolled over on its side. The four passengers were wearing their seatbelts and suffered minor injuries.
Kenai Police Chief Gus Sandahl said first responders start to see a rise in crashes this time of year when temperatures drop and create icy road conditions. The highest number of crashes occurs from December to February, he said.
Sandahl provided some reminders for drivers to consider.
Watch for moose crossing the road. He said moose collisions were the leading cause of crashes in Kenai last year.
Lower speed accordingly for poor road conditions, Sandahl said. If the weather is bad, drivers should plan ahead and leave earlier to avoid driving in a hurry on icy roads.
Follow vehicles at a safe distance to allow time to brake and slow down without skidding out of control or causing a rear-end crash, he said.
Make sure your vehicle has tire tread that is adequate for winter driving, he said.
Reach Dan Balmer at email@example.com.