Teen dies in Thane Road crash

Two 16-year-old boys injured in one-car accident

Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2000

A single-vehicle accident Monday afternoon on Thane Road claimed the life of one Juneau teen and injured two others.

Mark Willard, 17, was partially ejected from the 1980s vintage red Camaro he was driving. Willard suffered severe trauma to the head, said Officer Dave Campbell of the Juneau Police Department. Willard was declared dead at the scene. Campbell did not know who reported the accident.

Two passengers in the vehicle were slightly injured. Capital City Fire and Rescue was summoned to the site at 2:22 p.m. and transported two boys, both 16 years old, to Bartlett Regional Hospital's emergency room for treatment.

The passengers in the Camaro were treated for scrapes and bruises and released, said Marijo Toner, regional affairs coordinator for Bartlett. Firefighters returned to the site at 4:18 p.m. to extricate the trapped body of the driver from the Camaro.

Excess speed on a series of S-curves about a mile south of town contributed to the vehicle's leaving the road, rolling over and winding up in the ditch, police said. ``We are suspecting alcohol was a factor, but that has not been confirmed,'' Campbell said.

``He was headed toward town,'' said Campbell, who escorted the injured teens to the hospital. ``One occupant said they were doing in excess of 45 miles per hour (in a 40 mile-per-hour zone). The other said 65. There's a sharp curve there that sneaks up on you.''

Driving a car that belonged to a friend, Willard lost control and the car veered toward the hillside, skidding on soft soil, Campbell said. At the request of the state Medical Examiner, Willard's body was flown to Anchorage for an autopsy, Campbell said.

Mark Willard, who grew up in Klukwan, was one of 12 children, said his brother, Marvin L. Willard Jr. of Juneau.

His parents are Marvin Willard Sr. and Lorena Hotch, both of Juneau. Mark's sister, Yvonne Dennis, 31, of Juneau, said the siblings range in age from 14 to 34.

``Mark liked basketball, arm wrestling, hiking with his friends and camping,'' she said. ``His favorite thing was playing jokes on his family and friends.''

Bill Wilkerson of Alaskan Memorial Park Mortuary and Crematory said memorial services were on hold until the family receives word from the medical examiner's office later today about when the body might be returned to Juneau.

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