Teen driver dies in 3-vehicle Wasilla crash

a trooper car
An Alaska State Trooper K-9 Unit SUV (Joey Mendolia/Alaska Public Media)

A teenage driver died Thursday afternoon in a car crash in Wasilla, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said in an online dispatch that 911 calls about the collision on North Seward Meridian Parkway came in just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Jessalyn Helms, 19, was severely injured in the crash and taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, where she died, troopers said.

Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said Helms had been driving a Honda sedan in the three-vehicle collision, which occurred near Cottonwood Elementary School at the parkway’s intersection with East Country Field Circle. One other person was taken to a hospital after the crash as a precaution.

A preliminary investigation showed that the crash occurred when Helms failed to yield to another vehicle, McDaniel said.

Troopers said Helms’ next of kin have been notified.

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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