Update, 9 a.m. Thursday:
Anchorage police identified 43-year-old Jason Collins as the driver who died Tuesday.
State transportation officials say repairs will be needed on an Anchorage overpass damaged Tuesday when a piece of heavy equipment struck it in what became a fatal collision.
The driver of a Jeep SUV was killed after his vehicle struck a piece of that machinery, police said.
Police said a northbound commercial vehicle was transporting the heavy machinery on Minnesota Drive when part of the equipment struck the Hillcrest Drive overpass. The Jeep “struck part of the equipment (that) was dislodged from the commercial vehicle,” police said.
The driver, who has not been identified, died at the scene, they said. The driver and passenger in the commercial vehicle were not hurt.
Many details about the collision remained unclear Wednesday, including just what happened to cause the equipment to strike the overpass and become dislodged from the trailer it was on.
The equipment is owned by the municipality, according to Hans Rodvik, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bronson. Rodvik said he had no additional details about the collision or the company driving the truck hauling the equipment and said more information would be available from the Anchorage Police Department as the investigation continued.
Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said by email that a police report on the fatal collision had not been finished by Wednesday, and she didn’t expect it would be available until next week at the earliest. Without the report, Oistad said, she was unable to answer questions.
A large swath of Minnesota Drive and the overpass were closed Tuesday while the investigation unfolded.
A sidewalk on the southern side of the overpass remained closed Wednesday.
State inspectors surveyed the overpass on Tuesday and discovered that one of the metal beams underneath was damaged, according to Justin Shelby, an administrative operations manager with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The sidewalk was closed after the collision, but Shelby said the overpass was still safe for vehicles to travel.
Officials were reviewing the inspection report on Wednesday to determine the extent of damage and what repairs will be needed, he said.
The investigation into the collision is being handled by Anchorage police, Shelby said, but the transportation department is conducting a separate commercial vehicle investigation.
Police said the driver of the commercial vehicle was cooperative. No charges had been filed by Wednesday afternoon.