Crash near Girdwood closes Seward Highway, sends as many as 11 to hospitals

Lisa Demer

A head-on crash Sunday afternoon on the Seward Highway just north of Girdwood injured multiple people and led Alaska State Troopers to close the highway in both directions for hours, trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

As many as 11 people were taken to local hospitals, including a child and a passenger with injuries that appeared life threatening, Peters said. Earlier reports put the number going to the hospital at six or seven.

Troopers were alerted to the crash at 4:20 p.m. It happened at about Mile 92, three miles north of Girdwood.

A gold Ford Expedition, a large SUV, was heading northbound when the driver apparently lost control in the snow and the slush, Peters said. The Expedition crossed the center line and crashed into a Suzuki Grand Vitara, a small SUV, she said.

The Expedition was carrying eight people, Peters said. At the busy crash scene, troopers initially thought the Expedition was carrying nine, one more than it had seats for, but the investigator went to the hospital to interview those involved and determined there were eight, she said.

Three of the passengers were children age 12 or under, she said. Both of the people with life-threatening injuries were in the Expedition. One was a front-seat passenger who had to be extricated.

The Suzuki, which was traveling southbound, was carrying three people, Peters said. Both the driver and a front-seat passenger in that vehicle had to be extricated as well, she said.

It appeared that all 11 people in both vehicles were taken to hospitals though some suffered only minor injuries and were being checked out as a precaution, Peters said.

Names of the people involved were not available early Sunday evening, she said.

Troopers reopened the southbound lane of the highway just before 7 p.m. By 9 p.m., the entire highway was reopened.


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