Wasilla man still critical after fiery Parks Hwy. crash

Zaz Hollander

A 27-year-old Wasilla man remained critically injured Friday evening after a fiery wreck that closed the Parks Highway for seven hours Wednesday night, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers identified the man as Ray E. Johnson, of Wasilla. Johnson is listed in critical condition at Alaska Native Medical Center. An investigation continues into the crash.

An ambulance from Cantwell responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash at Mile 185 of the Parks Highway at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, troopers said. When medics arrived, they saw Johnson lying in the middle of the highway and his Ford F-350 pickup engulfed in flames.

Troopers said the accident occurred after Johnson's pickup crossed into the other lane of traffic and collided with a semi pulling double trailers. The semi driver, 42-year-old Kevin Redd Bailey of Wasilla, tried to avoid the pickup but couldn't. The semi ended up in the ditch and the pickup rolled into a guardrail and caught fire.

Johnson sustained a serious head injury, troopers said. The ambulance took him to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital but he was later flown to Anchorage for medical care.

Johnson wasn't identified until Friday morning. Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said that Johnson was initially conscious when medics got to the accident scene but didn't answer any questions, including what his name was. His pickup was so badly damaged that authorities couldn't get any identifying information from it, Ipsen said.

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