3-vehicle collision caused by moose

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008

A young moose that ran onto the Sterling Highway up the hill from the Fred Meyer store Friday morning set off a chain of events that led to one woman being sent to the hospital, thousands of dollars in damage to three vehicles and the death of the moose.

According to Soldotna Police Officer Marvin Towell, Mark Raymond, 51, of Soldotna, hit the moose with his 2006 Dodge pickup as Raymond was driving northbound on the highway.

Raymond pulled to the side of the road with his emergency flashers, hoping to warn other morning rush hour motorists, but Raelynn Nicholson, 19, of Sterling, driving a 1999 Chevy Tahoe sport utility vehicle, apparently did not see the moose in the road in time, and when she did, she swerved to avoid it, but went over the center line into oncoming traffic, and hit a 2003 Ford Escape driven by Elana Jackson, 33, of Soldotna.

Jackson was taken by Central Emergency Services to Central Peninsula Hospital where she was treated for injuries and released.

Towell said damage to Raymond's pickup was about $1,000.

Damage to the Chevy Tahoe was $6,000, and Towell said if the Ford Escape is not totaled, damage would be more than $8,000.

While tow trucks were removing vehicles from the roadway, Towell said Nicholson complained of neck pain, but did not ask to be taken to the hospital.

She was cited for failure to exercise due care to avoid a collision.

The moose was donated to charity.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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