Motorcyclist injured in head-on crash

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A motorcyclist sustained several fractured bones and other significant injuries after colliding head on with a white Chevrolet pickup that had swerved into his lane at Mile 83 of the Sterling Highway.

Both Kip Brader, 46, of Sterling, the driver of the motorcycle, and Martin Tree, 30, of Kenai, were taken to Central Peninsula General Hospital for treatment after the pickup and motorcycle, a Harley Davidson, collided at about 12:04 p.m.

Prior to the accident, Soldotna Alaska State Troopers had received multiple 911 calls reporting that the white pickup’s driver was driving erratically. Troopers responded and attempted to stop the vehicle. But Tree did not respond.

When the responding trooper could not get Tree’s attention from behind they pulled up alongside his vehicle and saw Tree in the pickup’s cabin, but Tree did not appear to notice, said Greg Wilkinson, a spokesperson for troopers.

“He was just eyes locked forward,” Wilkinson said. “He looked like he was in a stooper. Like he was on automatic pilot.”

Tree continued to drive for the next two miles until he swerved from the northbound lane of traffic he was traveling in, into the southbound lane at about 40 mph and collided with Brader.

Investigation later revealed Tree was suffering from diabetic shock and was nearly unconscious. Tree did not suffer any injuries due to the accident. Brader was wearing a helmet and did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

Damage to the truck and motorcycle was estimated at approximately $3,000 dollars to each vehicle. Both vehicles were towed from the scene. Investigation into the crash is continuing and charges are pending.

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