Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Man breaks neck in logging accident

KETCHIKAN - A Port Angeles, Wash., man broke his neck in a logging accident on Dall Island but was released from a Seattle hospital Monday without any paralysis.

Ernie Thompson, 43, was injured Thursday while cutting a log, according to his daughter, Erin Thompson. She said the log broke during the cutting, throwing Thompson, who landed on his head. No one was around, so Thompson crawled to a road to wait for someone to find him, his daughter said.

Thompson was airlifted to a Ketchikan hospital before he was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Susan Gregg-Hanson of Harborview said Monday that Thompson had a lower neck fracture and was being discharged with an orthopedic device to support his neck area.

On this job on Dall Island, southwest of Prince of Wales Island, Thompson was working for Sea Island Cutting, his daughter said.

Newspaper sues for police dispatch tapes

ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Daily News has filed a lawsuit seeking a copy of the tape-recorded police radio communications leading up to the collision that killed a police officer July 9.

Patrol officer Justin Wollam, 19-year-old Robert Esper and two other teens were killed when Esper slammed a Chevy Blazer into Wollam's patrol car on the Glenn Highway.

The newspaper had asked the police department for a copy of the tape-recorded communications on July 12. Deputy Chief Mark Mew denied the request. Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch upheld that decision, saying a release would interfere with criminal proceedings.

The newspaper argues that the communications were already broadcast over public airwaves and anyone with a scanner could have recorded them.

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