Fairbanks man dies after crash at busy intersection

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man was killed over the weekend when he ran a red light at one of the city's busiest intersections and collided with another vehicle, authorities say. No one else was injured.

Richard Zdanovec, 53, was declared dead shortly after noon Sunday, after medics pried him from his car, police said. He was wearing a seatbelt.

It was the second fatal accident in six months at the Airport Way and Market Street intersection. The south side of Airport way funnels traffic from Sears, Kmart, Value Village and The Gas Line.

Aside from being busy, the intersection also is one of the most confusing in Fairbanks, said Sgt. Eric Jewkes, with the Fairbanks Police Department. Drivers coming off the Airport access road get a green light and can merge onto Airport Way while drivers on Market Street have a red light.

A soldier from Fort Wainwright was killed in September when his vehicle was struck by a truck while merging onto Airport Way from Market Street.

''I know we've had fatality accidents there before,'' Jewkes told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. ''It's a busy intersection and there are so many different ways you can turn and not turn. It's a very complex intersection.''

Alaska State Trooper Shane Stephenson was traveling directly behind Zdanovec's car, waiting to merge onto Airport Way.

''Instead of turning right he went straight across,'' said Stephenson, who caught the collision from the corner of his eye.

''I was checking the light and I looked back and could see him drive into the traffic,'' Stephenson said. ''He went flying.''

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