1 dead, 2 hurt in collision that caused hours-long Seward Highway closure

One person was killed and two more were injured in a collision Sunday near Ingram Creek that closed the Seward Highway for hours, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers said in an online dispatch that they received word of the crash involving two pickup trucks, near Mile 75 of the highway and its “Welcome to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula” sign, just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In an update Monday, troopers identified the driver killed in the crash as 75-year-old Dennis Wasuli of Anchorage.

“Investigation determined that a northbound (Chevrolet) S-10 crossed the centerline and struck a pickup towing an RV,” troopers said in the dispatch. “The driver and sole occupant of the S-10 was declared deceased at the scene.”

Both people in the other pickup truck were taken to an Anchorage hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

Troopers spokesman Justin Freeman said in an email Monday afternoon that the two pickup trucks collided head-on along a curve in the highway, when Wasuli “failed to negotiate the curve, for reasons unknown” and entered the oncoming lane. No backups of traffic had been reported in the area immediately prior to the collision.

The collision closed the Seward Highway for about six hours, as Freeman said troopers investigated and the vehicles’ wreckage was cleared. The cause of the crash has not been determined, but troopers say alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.

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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