Two accidents leave 1 dead, others injured

Posted: Monday, November 13, 2000

Two vehicle accidents occurred Saturday, resulting in various injuries and one death.

The first accident occurred at 1:01 p.m. at Mile 74.5 of the Sterling Highway. Alaska State Troopers and Central Emergency Services responded at 1:15 p.m. to the single-vehicle accident.

The investigation revealed that Nigel Penhale, 17, of Nikiski, was operating a 1987 Pontiac Grand-Am northbound on the highway. Penhale lost control of the vehicle, striking an embankment. The collision resulted in the vehicle flipping, and the rear passenger, Robyne Johnson, 16, of Nikiski, being ejected.

Johnson, believed by troopers to be the only passenger not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jason Gerke, 16, and Katrina Stamer, 15, both of Nikiski, and Penhale all received minor injuries. Stamer was transported to Central Peninsula General Hospital where she was treated and released.

Damage to Penhale's vehicle was estimated at $5,000.

The second accident occurred at 2:54 p.m. at Mile 76 of the Sterling Highway. Troopers responded to the scene at 2:58 p.m.

Investigation revealed Nina Knight, 67, of Soldotna, was driving a 1992 Ford Taurus station wagon southbound on the highway when a 1991 Jeep, driven by Lauren Charbonneau, 28, of Homer, spun out of control and into Knight's lane.

Knight attempted to stop, troopers said, but the vehicle struck Charbonneau's vehicle on the driver's side.

Both Knight and Charbonneau received serious injuries and were transported to CPGH. Both were later airlifted to Anchorage.

Troopers said Knight was wearing a seat belt, but Charbonneau was not.

Knight was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital where she was reported to be in stable condition.

Charbonneau was taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center where she also was reported to be in stable condition.

Troopers said alcohol was not a factor in either accident.

Troopers said that park rangers and many motorists stopped to assist in the accidents, and all assistance was appreciated by troopers.

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