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Bus passengers injured when driver collapses, dies on highway near Soldotna

Michelle Theriault Boots

The driver of a bus carrying 20 people lost consciousness, veered off the Sterling Highway near Soldotna and died Sunday morning, Alaska State Troopers reported. 

Nineteen people on the bus were  injured in the incident, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters.

Troopers said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Some of the hurt passengers were taken to a Kenai Peninsula hospital for treatment. 

The coach-style bus was owned by Snug Harbor Seafoods, which is based in Kenai. It was full of Snug Harbor employees, Peters said. 

The bus was traveling northbound on the Sterling Highway near Mile 90 when the driver became unconscious and the bus went off the road, troopers said. 

"The bus left the roadway and came to rest in a field," troopers said. 

Mile 90 of the Sterling Highway is near the Soldotna city limits sign. 

Troopers were summoned at 6:47 a.m., the dispatch said. 

The 59-year-old driver, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene. His death appears to be due to natural causes, troopers said.