Alaska News

Victims identified in fatal Petersburg van crash as troopers take over investigation

A Monday van crash that killed two Petersburg teens and injured two others, causing the cancellation of Fourth of July celebrations in the Southeast town, is now under investigation by Alaska State Troopers, who identified the crash victims Thursday.

Troopers said in a Thursday dispatch the Petersburg Police Department had asked the agency to take over the investigation of the wreck, which occurred on South Nordic Drive in Petersburg at about 7:25 a.m. Monday. Local authorities named the deceased as Molly Parks, 18, and Marie Elaine Giesbrecht, 19.

Troopers identified the crash's survivors Thursday as driver William "Chris" Allen, 23, and passenger Catherine Cardenas, 19. Petersburg police had said all four were Petersburg Borough employees, and had been traveling in a borough-owned van.

"Initial investigation by PPD revealed that four people were traveling south on South Nordic Drive in a 2004 Ford E350 Econoline van when it crashed," troopers wrote. "Allen received serious injuries in the crash while Cardenas was treated and released from the hospital."

The request for troopers to investigate the crash was issued Tuesday, troopers said, with investigators arriving in Petersburg on Wednesday.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said nothing further was immediately available about the investigation.

The families of everyone involved in the crash have been notified.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.