2 girls badly hurt in collision near Fairbanks

Zaz Hollander

Two girls remained hospitalized Thursday after the pickup they were riding in was T-boned by another pickup on Chena Hot Springs Road outside Fairbanks, Alaska State Troopers said.

The girls, ages 17 and 12, were in a Chevrolet quad cab driven by Fatimah Vanessa Cole, 52, of Fairbanks, troopers said. The Chevy made a left into Chena Hot Springs Gas in front of the other driver, 31-year-old William Frank Stenberg, also of Fairbanks, according to an online dispatch posted Thursday. Stenberg saw the pickup stopped in his lane but couldn't avoid the crash and hit the passenger side of the other pickup, troopers said.

The girls were taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and then to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. The 17-year-old was in critical condition Wednesday night but was stabilized for her flight to Anchorage, Ipsen said. The younger girl suffered serious injuries, she said.

Cole was treated and released at Fairbanks Memorial.

Local residents in 2011 raised concerns about visibility issues for traffic turning into the gas station, which sits just past the crest of a hill, according to a story in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner at the time.

There is no indication alcohol was involved in the crash, Ipsen said. Stenberg was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt, she said, but it wasn't known whether Cole and the two girls were wearing them.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.