Four injured in Valley crash; 5-year-old critical

Rosemary Shinohara

A five-year-old was left in critical condition and three others were seriously injured as the result of a car crash on Bogard Road near Wasilla Friday night, Alaska State Troopers reported Saturday.

The four were in a Toyota Prius travelling east. A westbound Ford Taurus slid out of control on the icy road, crossed the centerline, and collided with the Prius about 11 p.m. Friday, troopers said.

Beatrice Joehnk, 53, Dewayne Joehnk, 56, and their granddaughter, Jorja Joehnk, 13, all of Palmer, were reported to be seriously injured. Austin Ervine, 5, a family friend, was in critical condition Saturday, trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.

The Taurus Driver, Michael Weetman, 26, of Palmer, was treated for minor injuries.

Medevac helicopters at the scene on Bogard Road tried to fly patients to Providence Alaska Medical Center, but were turned back by heavy snowfall, troopers said.

All of the injured were taken to the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center instead. Later, Ervine was flown to Providence.

Bogard Road was shut down temporarily, and traffic was routed through side streets, Ipsen said.

Troopers say a combination of ice on the road and driving too fast for conditions are believed to have contributed to the collision.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.