Nebraska man dies in Cooper Landing accident

Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2002

A Nebraska man was killed Tuesday when he apparently lost control of his vehicle while trying to navigate a sharp curve at a high rate of speed on the Sterling Highway in Cooper Landing.

At 2:43 a.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident at Mile 48 of the highway, near the intersection of Snug Harbor Road. Investigation revealed a 1994 Nissan Sentra was northbound on the highway when it apparently left the roadway, struck a culvert and rolled. Neither of the two occupants of the vehicle were wearing seat belts, and both were ejected.

Jonathan A. Epling, 22, of Grant, Neb., died at the scene from his injuries. Epling, who was working in Cooper Landing for the summer, is believed to have been the driver of the vehicle.

A second passenger, Meghan Casqueira, 19, of Cooper Landing, was injured and transported by Cooper Landing ambulance to Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. According to troopers, Casqueira's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Troopers said alcohol, along with the vehicle's high rate of speed, are suspected as factors contributing to the crash. An investigation is continuing.



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