Fatal truck crash closes Parks Highway near Trapper Creek for hours

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser parked on Nome’s Front Street in January 2015.
An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. (Matthew Smith/KNOM)

A Talkeetna man died Thursday in a tanker-truck collision on the Parks Highway near Trapper Creek. A stretch of the highway is expected to remain closed until Thursday evening as fuel spilled in the crash is cleaned up.

According to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, a methane tanker headed south on the highway early Thursday lost control while navigating a corner near highway Mile 133.5. It collided with a fuel tanker headed northbound, driven by 67-year-old David Hope.

Troopers and first responders immediately headed to the scene after the wreck was reported at about 1:30 a.m., according to the dispatch. Hope was declared dead at the scene. The driver of the methane tanker was not injured, said troopers.

Hope’s family has been notified, with his body taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage, according to troopers.

Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said he didn’t have information yet Thursday afternoon about the factors involved in the collision, including if weather was a factor. Anchorage and much of the Mat-Su Borough were hit by a third major winter storm Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.

Troopers said the methane tanker was empty at the time of the crash. But a significant amount of fuel from the other tanker was spilled. 

“The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is working with the involved companies to coordinate the remediation of the scene,” according to troopers.

The highway is expected to remain closed between Mile 127 and 133.5 until early Thursday evening. Updates will be posted on the state’s road conditions website, 511.alaska.gov.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cklint@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Chris here.

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