A quick-thinking witness and a front-end loader save Anchorage pedestrian pinned by truck

Russell Raven was on his way to Fred Meyer in Midtown Anchorage with his daughter Saturday evening when he watched a horrifying collision unfold in front of him.

It was just after 5 p.m. when a man walked into a crosswalk at Seward Highway and Benson Boulevard while traffic had the right of way, according to the Anchorage Police Department. 

A Toyota truck tried to brake. But it struck the man and dragged him several feet on the icy road. He became stuck under the front of the truck, police said.

"The guy was pinned underneath. He looked like he was folded in half," said Raven, a 31-year-old construction worker.

Raven said he looked around and saw a front-end loader, which he knew could lift the truck enough to get the man out. He flagged down the driver and motioned for him to help.  

The loader did a U-turn and came back to the truck, where the man pinned underneath was screaming, Raven said.

It happened fast: The loader was able to pick up the front of the truck. Video caught on the dash cam of a passing car shows a person pulling a man in a red shirt out from under the truck as police cars drive up to the scene.

Traffic investigators ruled that the driver was not at fault, and that the man hit had walked into traffic, said police Lt. John McKinnon.

The man was taken to the hospital but was not seriously injured, according to police.

Just afterward, Raven, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon, but was visiting Alaska for his daughter's birthday, recorded an awe- and expletive-filled Facebook video in his car, describing what had happened.

"That s— was so intense. I can't believe that just happened," he said in the video. "Talk about being in the right place at the right time."

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at