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Four injured in crash of television crew

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Two members of a History Channel crew working on a new season of "Ice Road Truckers" were seriously injured when their pickup crashed into a semi during a blizzard on a remote Alaska highway.

The pickup smashed into a Carlyle Trucking tanker Thursday on the Dalton Highway about 22 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America, according to North Slope Borough police.

Rick Jumper, 58, of Arlington, Wash., the driver of the pickup, and Ben Swinehart, 24, of North Hollywood, Calif., were transported to a clinic at Prudhoe Bay and flown to Anchorage. Their conditions were not available Tuesday night.

Two others in the pickup, Hugh Peterson, 29, of West Hollywood, and Scott Simper, 40, of Salt Lake City sustained what police called minor injuries.

The Dalton Highway is a mostly gravel road used by oil field suppliers to haul gear and supplies to North Slope oil fields.

North Slope Borough Police Lt. Jeff Brown said the crash occurred Thursday morning. Winds were blowing at 70 mph and visibility was near zero, he said.

"It appears (the rig) may have been stopped in the roadway, because the weather was so bad," Brown said. Drifting snow made it almost impossible to see, he said.

It took police almost three hours to drive 10 miles to reach the accident scene, Brown said.

Michael Feeney, a spokesman for the History Channel, said the crew was part of the production company Original Productions.



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