Anchorage man critically injured in Valley motorcycle crash

Devin Kelly

An Anchorage man was hospitalized in critical condition after his motorcycle crashed head-on with a car near Palmer Sunday night, troopers said.

About 10:25 p.m., multiple people called Alaska State Troopers to report a motorcycle being driven recklessly on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway near Trunk Road, troopers said in a Monday dispatch. Less than five minutes later, someone reported a head-on collision involving the motorcycle and a Pontiac Grand Am, troopers said.

Investigators found that Nicholas Bishop, 24, was driving a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle westbound on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway near North Plymouth Circle. The Pontiac Grand Am, driven by 24-year-old Alex Phelan of Wasilla, was heading east on the highway.

Troopers said Bishop's motorcycle crossed the center line in a no-passing zone and hit the Grand Am head-on.

"The motorcycle was passing multiple vehicles in a no-passing zone near a corner when it entered the opposing lane of traffic and collided head-on with the Pontiac Grand-Am," troopers said.

Jesse McCarty, 33, was driving behind the Grand Am when he saw the motorcycle speed around a black Chevy truck into the opposing lane.

"I could tell he was flying," McCarty said in a phone interview. The Pontiac started to swerve but couldn't avoid the crash, he said.

There was a "pretty crazy explosion," and the black Chevy truck ricocheted off the Grand Am and went into the ditch, McCarty said. McCarty, the head store manager at the Target in Wasilla, pulled over and called 911.

He thought he saw the frame of the motorcycle sliding past his car. But it was actually the man's body, he said.

When he ran over to the motorcyclist, he saw that the man's left leg appeared to have been amputated and his right leg was folded under his body.

"It looked like he stepped on a grenade," McCarty said.

McCarty and another man pulled off their belts to make tourniquets around both the man's legs and McCarty pulled blankets from his car to try to stop the bleeding. The motorcyclist was barely breathing and getting cold, McCarty said. Troopers arrived shortly after and found the man, identified as Bishop, unconscious and unresponsive.

Bishop was airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday morning, a hospital spokesman said.

Phelan was wearing his seat belt and had a minor cut, troopers said. The driver of the Chevy was reported to be uninjured.

Bishop's next of kin were notified and the Alaska Bureau of Highway Patrol is investigating the case, troopers said.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.