Anchorage man fleeing Fairbanks police smashes vehicles

Zaz Hollander

A 25-year-old Anchorage man led Alaska State Troopers on a wrong-way pursuit Sunday afternoon in Fairbanks, hitting two vehicles before crashing into a light pole and trying to escape on foot into a nearby lumberyard, troopers said.

Henry Mason Jr. was found hiding in the cab of a flatbed truck at the Spenard Builders Supply yard, according to an account provided by troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. Mason sustained injuries in the crash and was treated and released at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

He was jailed at Fairbanks Correctional Center.

A 17-year-old female passenger with him was also treated and released, troopers said.

Mason, who was already wanted on weapons charges, now also faces charges of failure to stop at the direction of a police officer; two counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident; and fourth-degree assault for causing injury to his passenger, troopers said.

A caller at 3:26 p.m. told emergency dispatchers that a black 2003 Hyundai SUV had run a red light at Chena Pump Road, then backed up out of an intersection and got stuck, according to the account, which Ipsen said was written by multiple troopers. The SUV got unstuck by the time a trooper passed it going the other way on the Parks Highway and made a U-turn.

The SUV didn't stop, however, and instead turned onto Airport Road, ran two more red lights and then started going the wrong way on University Avenue, troopers said.

"AST lost sight of the SUV while on University Ave. because patrol vehicles were trying to avoid vehicles that were trying to get out way of the SUV, which was driving into oncoming traffic because it was driving on the wrong side of the road," the account said.

Mason hit a 1992 Ford pickup and then lost control after turning onto Peger Road and crashed into a 2006 Toyota Matrix before hitting the light pole, troopers said. At least one person reportedly sustained injuries, Ipsen said, but troopers hadn't confirmed that as of Monday morning.

A witness saw Mason and the passenger run into the lumberyard, troopers said. Fairbanks police responded and helped troopers searched the yard. The passenger was found quickly; Mason turned up at 5:24 p.m., about two hours after the initial report, after someone called to relay information about where he was.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.