Six die in triple collision

Two others injured and taken to Faribanks hospital for treatment

Posted: Monday, July 03, 2000

FAIRBANKS - A head-on collision in Two Rivers killed six people and injured two others after a pickup truck sideswiped another pickup and then slammed into a third pickup.

``It looked like a war zone,'' said Gerry Ostrow, a motorist who came upon the scene soon after the crash.

The crash occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday on Chena Hot Springs Road, northeast of Fairbanks. The names of the victims were not released, pending notification of family members.

Alaska State Troopers were trying to determine the cause of the accident on the rain-slicked, two-lane road.

According to witnesses, a red Nissan pickup truck was traveling east toward Chena Hot Springs Resort when it crossed the center line and clipped a white, Ford F-350 pickup. The Ford was towing a trailer carrying four all-terrain vehicles.

The crash into the trailer caused the Nissan to swerve out of control and smash into a blue Ford Ranger pickup that was following the F-350, said trooper Capt. Mike Stickler.

All four passengers in the Nissan and two of the four people in the Ranger were killed. The other two people in the Ranger were injured and transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. No one in the F-350 towing the trailer was injured.

The wreckage left a scene of carnage on the road.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Cotter heard the collision and arrived on the scene seconds later.

``I walked up there and saw bodies and stopped,'' she said. ``There was a woman who went up there and came running back saying to call 911.''

The Nissan was upside-down in the right-hand lane and bore little resemblance to a pickup.

``It looked like it had been in one of those compression machines,'' Ostrow said. Three victims were ejected from the vehicles, two onto the road and one into some bushes, he said.

Rescue crews arrived on the scene about 20 minutes after the accident.

``It was very bad,'' said Edith Curry, assistant chief of the Steese Volunteer Fire Department. ``The road was entirely closed. There was just a lot of people so it was hard to tell who was involved and who wasn't.''

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