Soldier badly hurt when truck strikes military vehicles

khopkins@adn.comJanuary 30, 2013 

A 20-year-old soldier suffered life-threatening injuries Tuesday afternoon when a pickup truck hauling a trailer struck him as he exited a Humvee near Salcha, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The accident began at 2:49 p.m. at Mile 315 of the Richardson Highway, troopers said.

A three-quarter-ton GMC truck hauling logs hit an Army Humvee that was slowing in preparation for a turn, according to a trooper dispatch posted online.

The pickup, driven by 20-year-old Forrest Hermanns of Tok, kept moving after the collision, troopers said. It entered the parking lot of a roadside hotel and restaurant, striking Spc. Zachary New. The truck then hit two parked armored Stryker vehicles, according to troopers.

New is a member of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, said Lt. Col. William Coppernoll, an Army spokesman. New had been traveling in a convoy headed from the Army post to a training area near Delta Junction.

He was treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Providence Alaska Medical Center, Coppernoll said. The spokesman said he had no additional information Wednesday about New's condition or the nature of his injuries.

Hermanns was not hurt in the crash, troopers said. None of the vehicles was heavily damaged.

Troopers said they found no sign that alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. Road conditions were "extremely icy" at the time, troopers said.

The manager for the Midway Lodge, where the accident occurred, declined to comment.

Twitter updates: twitter.com/adn_kylehopkins. Call Kyle Hopkins at 257-4334 or email him at khopkins@adn.com.

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