Woman dies after car, dump truck collide

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) A Juneau woman known for helping others was killed Tuesday after her car was hit by a dump truck in the Mendenhall Valley.

Paulette Alden, 49, known as Paula, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Bartlett Regional Hospital, police said.

Her 1991 Ford Escort was struck at about 1 p.m. by a dump truck driven by a 38-year-old Juneau man. The truck driver's name was not released.

The dump truck apparently is owned by a private company working on improvements to the bike path in the area, police said.

''At this point, I can't release anything else,'' police Sgt. David Wrightson said. ''We're trying to evaluate all the evidence in the roadway.''

Alden moved from Idaho to Juneau in 1988. She suffered from severe asthma and did not work, her family said. She had lived in the Mountain View Apartments for seniors and people with disabilities for two years.

She helped serve meals at the Juneau Senior Center, which is housed in the apartment building, delivered food for the center's meals on wheels program, and helped with the center's newsletter, said site manager Ellen Northup.

Those were the most noticeable of her helpful ways, Northup said. With the Mountain View management's permission, Alden took in a mother and son until she could find them a home. If someone was hungry, she was at the food bank's doors at 8 a.m. to put together a food basket, Northup said.

''Paula was the kind of person that lived every day like the last day she was going to live, and she frequently landed in the hospital because of all she did,'' Northup said, referring to Alden's asthma.

''One time in the emergency room the doctors said, 'We tell her to rest and she says 'No, I have to live my life,''' Northup said.

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