Child remains in critical condition after accident

Crash on icy surface closes North Douglas Highway for two hours

Posted: Thursday, February 05, 2009

A 5-year-old girl remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a two-vehicle accident Tuesday night on North Douglas Highway.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

According to the Juneau Police Department, a 2003 Dodge Stratus traveling outbound in the 5100 block of Douglas Highway crossed into oncoming traffic at about 7 p.m. Tuesday and struck a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. The road surface was covered with ice and snow and is suspected of being a factor in the collision, according to a news release issued by the department. The investigation continues as of press time Wednesday night. Alcohol is not believed to be involved in the accident.

Ken Greenbank said his 5-year-old grandniece was medevaced to Seattle with "severe head injuries" after the accident Tuesday.

Greenbank said his nephew, Toby Greenbank, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Juneau, received a call shortly after the accident and rushed to the scene about a mile from his home.

"When he got parked and got out of his truck, he ran up to the car I guess and hit that black ice that was on the road and he broke his leg pretty bad," Ken Greenbank said, adding that Toby was medevaced to Seattle as well. "It was a pretty bad break."

Toby Greenbank's 3-year-old daughter and wife, Asia Greenbank, also were in the Dodge at the time of the accident and sustained minor injuries. They were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital, Ken Greenbank said. They were later released and flew to Seattle on Wednesday to be with their family, he added.

The accident resulted in the highway being closed for about two hours Tuesday night while officers conducted an investigation at the scene.

The recent snowy and cold weather conditions have resulted in numerous vehicle accidents around Juneau in the past couple of weeks, including a fatal accident near the 15.5-mile of Glacier Highway on Saturday that resulted in the death of 31-year-old MaryGrace Needham.

Greenbank said the family appreciates the professionalism of the police department and the concern shown by the community.

"They would appreciate any prayers that they could receive from anyone," he said. "That would be nice."

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