Driver dies, children injured in Anchorage car crash

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- One person died and two children were injured when a car smashed into a utility pole Wednesday night on a busy Anchorage street.

A witness called 911 at 9:36 p.m. to report a northbound 1994 Buick Regal had sideswiped a silver 1987 Volvo station wagon and skidded into a wooden utility pole on Lake Otis Parkway.

A team of 10 firefighters worked to extract two children from the crumpled Buick.

Nearby residents who heard the screeching and impact ran out to try to help, but the Buick's occupants were trapped inside the mangled sedan. The female driver of the Volvo was not injured.

Firefighters extracted the first child at 10:05 p.m. and the second 10 minutes later. Both were rushed to Alaska Regional Hospital. The identity of the dead driver and passengers was not immediately available.

Police Lt. Wayne Vance said initial indications are that the Buick was traveling at a high rate of speed when it clipped the Volvo and slammed into the pole.

Some neighbors said speeding and quick lane changes are problems on that stretch of Lake Otis, where northbound traffic narrows from two lanes to one.

''They're all zipping through and going right around you,'' said Gene Greenfield, who lives on the block north of the crash scene. ''It's a 35 mph zone, but nobody abides by that, nobody.''

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