Alaska News

1 dead, 3 injured in Seward Highway collision between trucks on the Kenai Peninsula

Two box trucks collided head-on Tuesday morning on the Kenai Peninsula, leaving one driver dead and closing the Seward Highway for most of the day, troopers said.

A northbound truck began fishtailing and entered the southbound lane around Mile 62 of the highway near Granite Creek, troopers wrote in an online statement. A southbound truck driver was unable to avoid the oncoming truck and the two trucks struck head-on.

The driver of the southbound truck, 34-year-old Ifomaavu Tagalu of Anchorage, died at the scene, troopers said.

Two passengers in Tagalu’s truck were taken to hospitals in Anchorage along with 34-year-old Yulier Guevara of Hollywood, Florida, who was driving the other truck, according to troopers. All three were believed to have non-life-threatening injuries Tuesday, but troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain did not have an update on their conditions Wednesday.

There were not any charges or citations issued immediately and DeSpain said the investigation is ongoing.

There is no cellphone service along that stretch of the Seward Highway, the lone road link between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. Several calls for help were made around 9:30 a.m. from an emergency call box at a now unused Department of Transportation maintenance station. Emergency teams from Cooper Landing, Girdwood and Seward responded.

Road conditions were poor and may have contributed to the crash, DeSpain said. The Department of Transportation’s online map showed icy patches and snow covering the roadway in that area on Tuesday.

The scene of the crash was cleared and the highway reopened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, troopers said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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