Head-on collision injures 2

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2007

 

  Rescue workers cut a male motorist from his car Tuesday afternoon following a head-on accident on the Kenai Spur Highway at Candlelight Drive. Two sedans were involved in the accident, which blocked four lanes of the highway. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Rescue workers cut a male motorist from his car Tuesday afternoon following a head-on accident on the Kenai Spur Highway at Candlelight Drive. Two sedans were involved in the accident, which blocked four lanes of the highway.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Two motorists were seriously injured Tuesday afternoon in a head-on collision that shut the Kenai Spur Highway for 1 1/2 hours.

Despite the snow-packed and icy road conditions Tuesday, it was the only injury accident Kenai Police were called to, according to Lt. Kim Wannamaker.

He said Britney Baier, 20, of Kenai, lost control of a blue 1990 Pontiac four-door sedan, according to witnesses, crossed over into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a white 1998 Pontiac driven by Norman Copeland, 30, of Kenai.

Both drivers the sole occupants of the vehicles were trapped and needed to be extricated from their cars by Kenai Fire Department responders.

"It was a relatively high-speed collision," said Fire Chief Mike Tilly. "It had probably a 90 to 100 mile-per-hour closing speed."

He said the drivers were out of their vehicles within 12 minutes of KFD's arrival on scene at Candlelight Drive.

Baier and Copeland were taken by Kenai Fire ambulance to Central Peninsula Hospital.

When asked if anyone was cited in the accident, Wannamaker said that is pending investigation. He also said it is unknown whether alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Both cars were totaled and needed to be towed from the scene.

While the wreck was being cleared, Wannamaker said most other motorists driving by were either talking on cell phones or using them to take pictures of the damaged vehicles "while driving by."

"That's just irresponsible," he said. "People need to be careful and concentrate on their driving."

In Soldotna, police said they were not called to any injury accidents following the two- to three-inch snowfall overnight Monday night that left area roads snow-covered and icy Tuesday.

Alaska State Troopers and Central Emergency Services responded to one minor-injury crash on Kalifornsky Beach Road in front of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church on Tuesday morning.

"Other than that, we had a couple of (vehicles in the ditch)," said CES Fire Marshal Gary Hale.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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