Elderly man dies in Sterling Highway wreck

Casey Grove

An elderly Soldotna man is dead after a two-vehicle wreck on the Sterling Highway on Friday afternoon, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Emergency dispatchers took a 911 call just after noon reporting a collision near Kasilof between a Jeep Cherokee and a Dodge 1500 pickup, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. At the scene, near Mile 107 of the Sterling Highway, medics found mortally wounded 85-year-old Soldotna resident Daniel Gonzales and pronounced him dead, Ipsen said.

Gonzales' 82-year-old wife, Ruby, was driving the Jeep up a small hill when she lost control, Ipsen said. The Jeep went into oncoming traffic as it spun around, the Dodge pickup smashing into the Jeep's passenger side, the troopers spokeswoman said.

Despite indications that he was wearing a seat belt, Gonzales was ejected from the Jeep, Ipsen said.

The crash injured Ruby Gonzales, as well as the driver of the Dodge, 50-year-old Vincent Redford, and his 72-year-old mother, Constance Redford, Ipsen said. Medics rushed the survivors to Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, she said. All three were expected to survive, Ipsen said.

Both vehicles were upright and off the roadway after the collision, and troopers shut down the highway to investigate, Ipsen said. Traffic was diverted onto Pollard Loop Road, she said.

There were no early indications that alcohol or drugs were involved, Ipsen said.


Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.