Man arrested for disorderly conduct at accident scene

Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2002

Alaska State Troopers trying to aid those involved in a Sterling Highway collision Tuesday afternoon were hampered by a driver who didn't want to wait for roadblocks to be removed.

At 2:47 p.m. Tuesday, troopers responded to a report of a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Sterling Highway and Reflection Lake Road. The accident, which involved a school bus carrying 15 children, required troopers and emergency personnel to close the road for approximately 40 minutes.

Troopers said Edward A. Knepper, 44, of Kasilof, who was driving a 1980 Ford Van southbound on the Sterling Highway, approached a 1986 Chevrolet station wagon driven by Sandy M. Burger, 55, of Kasilof. Knepper said the sun blinded him, causing him to hit Burger's station wagon. The collision forced the station wagon into the rear of a 2000 school bus driven by Catherine Perry, 54, of Clam Gulch.

After the accident, troopers and emergency personnel arrived at the scene. The first thing they did was to set up roadblocks and put out flares to prevent anyone from passing through.

"Larry Keen, 55, of Kasilof, decided that he didn't want to wait," said trooper Sgt. Barry Wilson.

Keen got out of his vehicle to argue with troopers, who noticed he had leaking propane tanks in the back of his truck.

Troopers ordered Keen to remove the propane from the scene, because the flares on the road could ignite the propane.

Keen refused, Wilson said, and at that point Trooper Jesse Osborne arrested him for disorderly conduct.

"Disorderly conduct can be defined as being in a public place, where a crime has occurred, a person refuses to comply with a police officer's order to disperse," said Wilson. "This kind of behavior is a fair example."

Wilson said that Knepper and his passenger, a 13-year-old boy (originally identified as 11 years of age by Central Emergency Services) were transported to Central Peninsula General Hospital with minor injuries.

Knepper had a lacerated knee, and the boy suffered a neck injury. It was necessary for Central Emergency Services to use extrication devices to remove Burger from her vehicle. She suffered a broken leg in the accident.

None of the children in the school bus were injured.

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