Man dies after driving into crane

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man reported to have been driving erratically died Tuesday evening when his car jumped a median and crashed head-on into a crane.

The dead man was identified as Paul W. Hancock, 51, of Anchorage. Police said Wednesday they had learned Hancock was a diabetic with a history of diabetic blackouts. They are awaiting results of toxicology tests to determine whether a diabetic episode may have led to the erratic driving.

Police had received a call of a possible drunken driver shortly after 6 p.m., said Sgt. Paul Honeman.

Minutes later, witnesses watched as the compact car crossed over a concrete median. The car clipped a tractor-trailer and then rammed head-on into the crane, owned by Alaska Crane Service.

The crane pushed the car back about 20 yards.

About a dozen people rushed to try to rescue the driver of the car, which ended up with about two-thirds of it under the crane, according to Tani Stam, who was traveling about five cars behind the crane. Flames engulfed the front of the car, however, and no one could reach it, she said.

The crane driver declined to give his name to the Anchorage Daily News.

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