Sterling man loses truck in Kenai River

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2005

"You know you're having a bad day when..." might be what a Sterling man was thinking Wednesday as he watched his pickup truck floating away in the Kenai River.

Alaska State Troopers re-ceived a report at about 4:30 p.m. that a 1984 Toyota pickup, belonging to Larry Hansen, 66, had gone into the river at Huske Lane in Sterling and was last seen submerging near the west end of Betty Lou Drive, about a mile down river.

Huske Lane is a dirt road off Scout Lake Loop that leads right into the river, appearing like a boat ramp though it is not, according to Trooper Mike Henry.

Henry said Hansen told him he may have not set the emergency brake. The pickup truck was unoccupied when it went into the water.

Several emergency response boats were launched into the river in an attempt to catch the escaping pickup truck, but responders from Central Emergency Services, Kenai River State Park and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service were unsuccessful in hooking the truck.

"The truck apparently sunk into a deep hole," Henry said.

Hansen and his family reportedly were trying to find the vehicle Thursday and Friday by dragging the river bottom with grappling hooks, but by 3:30 p.m. Friday, had not reported any success. The incident has been reported to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

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