Motorcycle crash on Kenai Peninsula sends two to hospital

Lisa Demer

A motorcycle hit a truck that turned in front of it Saturday evening on the Sterling Highway between Anchor Point and Homer, sending both the motorcycle driver and a passenger to the hospital and closing the highway for about an hour, Alaska State Troopers reported on Monday.

Joseph Essex, 28, of Anchor Point was driving a 2005 Buell motorcycle northbound of the Sterling, carrying a passenger, Shannon Smith, 20, of Anchor Point. Both were wearing helmets, troopers said.

Laura Owens, 59, of Homer was driving a 2005 Chevrolet truck. She pulled out from Diamond Ridge Road onto the Sterling southbound in front of the motorcycle, troopers said.

The motorcycle struck the truck's rear corner panel on the driver's side and crashed, said troopers, who received a report of the crash at 5:24 p.m..

A medical helicopter rushed Essex to Central Peninsula Hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit but is expected to recover, troopers said. Smith was taken to the hospital by ambulance and treated for minor injuries.

Both Owens and her passenger were wearing seat belts and were not injured, troopers said.

The road was closed for more than an hour because of the crash. Both lanes of the highway reopened after about two hours.

Troopers say their investigation is continuing but that Owens is considered to be at fault because she pulled out in front of the motorcycle.

Reach Lisa Demer at or 257-4390.

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