Crow Hill Drive briefly closed due to accident Thursday

Vehicle rear-ended JPD patrol SUV causing road closure
Juneau Police Department officers shut down Crow Hill Drive in Douglas briefly on Thanksgiving Day after a vehicle rear-ended a patrol vehicle, and after other cars were reportedly sliding down the hill.

The Juneau Police Department briefly closed Crow Hill Drive in Douglas on Thursday after a vehicle rear-ended a parked JPD patrol sports utility vehicle. Officer Chris Gifford said there were no injuries reported in the accident, which occurred at noon and is still being investigated.

A 2007 Dodge Nitro struck the parked JPD Ford Explorer on Douglas Highway, causing an estimated $500 in damage to both vehicles. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to the JPD Daily Bulletin.

The police vehicle only sustained minor damage.

No other details surrounding the incident were available, but Gifford said the road was shut down afterwards for about 20 to 30 minutes since cars were having trouble making it up the slick, snowy hill.

“Other cars were just sliding down the hill,” Gifford said. “So we waited for the sander to come, and then we opened it back up again.”

There were nine motor vehicle crashes reported Wednesday, according to the JPD daily bulletin, but Gifford said there weren’t any major injuries or accidents.

“Basically, it looks like people are starting to get back into the winter driving groove,” he said. “It’s all minor fender benders.”

Juneau has seen more than a foot of snow — 12.7 inches — since Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service’s Juneau Forecast Office. Just more than an inch of snow fell after midnight Wednesday, and flurries continued on Thanksgiving Day.

Scattered snow showers were expected to continue Thursday evening, but with little or no additional accumulation. On Friday, Juneau is supposed to receive another one to three inches during the day, and possibly two to five inches during the evening. Snow is also likely through the weekend and into Monday.

Meteorologist Richard Lam said the ski buffs will be happy — 9.3 inches of snow was measured at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday. And 9.4 inches were recorded at the forecast office in the valley on Thursday morning.

Flurries on Wednesday largely left holiday jet setters unaffected, deputy airport manager Patricia deLaBruere said by phone Wednesday. Several Alaska Airline flights were delayed briefly throughout the day because of the weather, she said, but none lasted longer than half an hour. Some other delays for Alaska Airline flights were reported Wednesday, but it was not known if the cause was weather related.

Only one flight, Alaska Airlines Flight 65, was cancelled Wednesday, she said, as it made its way from Seattle to Anchorage. That flight usually makes stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau before reaching Anchorage, but it bypassed Juneau due to the snow, and travelled straight from Petersburg to Anchorage.

Phone calls to Alaska Airlines spokespeople went unreturned Thursday.

For more information on the weather forecast, visit 1.usa.gov/tWAwvt.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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