Kenai woman dies in crash

Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2003

A Kenai woman was killed and four people were injured in an early morning head-on collision Tuesday on the Sterling Highway near the Golden International Restaurant just outside Soldotna.

Edith Coma, 40, a passenger in one of the vehicles, died at the scene, according to Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Greg Wilkinson.

Injured were Coma's husband, Joseph, 37, also a passenger; Anita Sullenger, 53, of Kenai, driver of the vehicle in which the Comas were riding; Debbie Carroll, 42, of Soldotna, the driver of the other vehicle; and Carroll's son, Craig, 19, of Sterling.

All of the injured people were taken to Central Peninsula General Hospital. Debbie Carroll was admitted and remained there in fair condition; her son was treated and released, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Sullenger and Joseph Coma were flown to hospitals in Anchorage, the CPGH spokesperson said. The status of their conditions was not available.

Troopers said Carroll lost control of a 1998 Subaru Legacy station wagon she was driving westbound on the highway, slid on the icy roadway across into oncoming traffic and collided with a 1990 Ford Festiva driven by Sullenger, which was traveling east.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, but it has not been determined whether any passengers were, Wilkinson said.

Edith Coma was riding in the front passenger seat of the Festiva, and her husband was in the back.

No citations were issued. A trooper investigation into the crash is continuing.

Because of the accident, the Sterling Highway was closed for approximately three hours after the 7:16 a.m. crash, and morning rush-hour traffic was diverted to makeshift lanes set up through the parking lot of the Chinese restaurant and the neighboring Sundog Screen Printing and Embroidery business.

In addition to troopers, other agencies responding to the wreck were Central Emergency Services, Soldotna police and the Alaska Department of Transportation. Kenai police assisted with notification of family members of the injured.

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