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Juneau man killed Saturday morning in single-vehicle crash

Excessive speed, wet pavement factors in Egan Drive wreck

Posted: May 21, 2011 - 9:55pm
THe vehicle of Stephen Ryan Lee, 22, is seen on Egan Drive on Sunday. Lee's vehicle slid off the road on Egan Drive between Egan Drive and Glacier Avenue and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.   Klas Stolpe
Klas Stolpe
THe vehicle of Stephen Ryan Lee, 22, is seen on Egan Drive on Sunday. Lee's vehicle slid off the road on Egan Drive between Egan Drive and Glacier Avenue and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An early morning single-vehicle traffic accident near Juneau Douglas High School took the life of a Juneau man Saturday morning.

Steven Ryan Lee, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene where the blue 1990 Chevy 4x4 truck he was driving left Egan Drive, sped up an embankment between Egan and Glacier Avenue and struck a tree. Lee was the sole occupant.

According to Juneau Police Department Sgt. Dave Campbell, who was on the scene, police received the initial accident call at 7:53 a.m. and responded along with Capital City Fire and Rescue.

Upon arrival rescue workers worked to free Lee, who was trapped inside the severely-damaged vehicle.

When they were able to reach Lee it was determined by medical personnel on scene that he was deceased.

According to Campbell, witnesses said the truck was traveling at approximately 55 mph in the 40 mph zone.

“It appears he was traveling too fast for the posted speed and the weather conditions,” Campbell said. “The pavement was wet and slick.”

The truck entered the “S” curve of Egan that begins just past the overpass walkway at Juneau-Douglas High School and, when it came out of that curve past Highland Drive, it is believed Lee lost control, striking the curb at the far side of the Breakwater Inn and continuing up the embankment into a large tree.

The truck fell back onto its base. A large assortment of items from the truck’s small camper shell were thrown past the tree by the force of the impact. A large wooden fence was knocked down.

A homeowner near the accident scene described hearing a large boom at around 7:40 a.m. and looking outside to see the vehicle.

Campbell stated that next of kin were notified and arrived on scene. Egan Drive outbound was shut down for roughly four hours while JPD accident investigators conducted a thorough inspection of the scene.

Campbell stated police do not suspect alcohol was a factor. Lee’s body will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage to determine if there were other factors involved in the accident, a standard procedure in accident fatalities.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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