North Kenai accident kills 3, 4 injured

Jul 20, 2021

A head-on car collision on the Kenai Spur Highway this Saturday killed three people, injured four and closed the highway for some time.

Kenai Police report that a small vehicle was headed south around mile 15 of the Spur and passed another car on the right side at a high speed. The Spur there is only two lane, and people will sometimes pass on the right on the shoulder of the road. Police say the driver of the small car lost control and crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with a pickup truck.

Both vehicles caught fire, and police say witnesses pulled people from the burning wreckage. All three passengers in the small vehicle died, while the four passengers in the pickup truck were transported to Central Peninsula Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

The highway was closed during the incident, and investigation is ongoing. Police were working to identify the deceased and notify their next of kin, and did not immediately release the names of the survivors.

Police were busy this weekend on the central peninsula. A car on Kenai’s South Beach reportedly caught fire during the dipnet on Saturday, and troopers responded to two separate boating incidents on the Kasilof River. On Saturday, wildlife troopers responded to a reports of a boat that had taken on water and was stranded on the north shore of the river, about a mile down from the Sterling Highway Bridge. The people in the boat had been stuck there for two days, and one was unable to self-rescue because of medical conditions, according to troopers. Soldotna wildlife troopers rescued that man, and no other injuries were reported.

Then, on Sunday, two kayakers were floating down the Kasilof River when they overturned their boats near mile 11. One was able to self-recover, but the other went missing downstream. Troopers, Alaska State Park Rangers, and Central Emergency Services responded to search. They were able to find the missing kayaker down the bank, alive and in good condition, according to troopers. Both boaters were wearing life-jackets.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabethearl@gmail.com.