Teen hurt in morning rush hour car wreck in Soldotna

Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2007

An 18-year-old Soldotna motorist was taken to the hospital with injuries he received in a Friday morning rush hour car crash near the Tesoro gas station on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna.

Gabriel VanZee needed to be extricated by Central Emergency Services responders from the 1992 Ford Taurus he was driving.

According to Soldotna Police, VanZee was southbound on Birch Street when he failed to stop at the stop sign. VanZee’s car was hit broadside by a 1984 Dodge van, being driven by Michael Garrett, 39, of Soldotna, which was southbound on the Sterling Highway.

The force of the collision drove both vehicles up onto a snow berm at the gas station, according to officer Tobin Brennan. A light pole stopped the vehicles before they entered the gas station driveway.

Brennan said VanZee had head and neck injuries, and Garrett had a bump on his head, but declined medical treatment. VanZee was listed in stable condition at Central Peninsula Hospital. Citations against him were pending Friday.

The Taurus was considered a total loss, Brennan said. He was unsure of the extent of damage to the van.

One northbound lane of the Sterling Highway was closed for about one hour as rescuers worked to extricate VanZee and traffic was stopped for a few minutes while the vehicles were towed.

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