Alaska State Troopers

Sabine Poux/KDLL

An Alaska State Trooper based in Soldotna is jailed on charges he sexually abused two girls, and authorities are asking the public for information about other possible victims.

Thirty-nine-year-old Benjamin Strachan was arrested Wednesday on one count of sexual abuse in the first degree and six counts in the second-degree. Strachan moved to Soldotna to be an Alaska State Trooper in June 2020. 

Alaska State Troopers

UPDATE 11:15 a.m. Tuesday:

Alaska State Troopers say they arrested the man who shot a trooper in Anchor Point yesterday, following a search that lasted into the night.

Troopers say a Special Emergency Reaction Team arrested 60-year-old Bret Herrick near his Anchor Point residence around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, after following up on a tip. The trooper he allegedly shot is in fair condition at an Anchorage hospital, according to an online statement.

Courtesy of Doug Blossom

Kenai Peninsula set-netters were already having a bad summer, following the early closure of their fishery earlier last month.

That situation turned from bad to worse for four set-net families late last week when their beach sites in Clam Gulch were vandalized. Alaska State Troopers said they have since identified and charged the vandals, two juveniles, through their posts on social media.

Alaska State Troopers

A Niksiki motorcyclist died in a collision on the Kenai Spur Highway Wednesday evening, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said 40-year-old Martin Marlin was driving his motorcycle near mile 18 of the Kenai Spur a little after 5 p.m. when he collided with a Nissan SUV that was turning in front of him.

Courtesy of ADEC

A truck carrying crude oil from BlueCrest Energy, near Anchor Point, spilled an estimated 900 gallons of oil in Happy Valley on Tuesday morning, in a head-on collision that injured three people.

Officials from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the leak did not reach any nearby wetlands or immediately impact nearby wildlife. They said the site has since been blocked and a crew is removing the affected soil to be remediated.

Alaska State Troopers

A California woman died in a three-car crash on the Sterling Highway near Kasilof this weekend, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers say 60-year-old Nancy Virlee Christiansen of Emerald Hills, California was driving north in a blue 2019 Hyundai around 6:30 p.m. Sunday when she crossed the center line and crashed with a black 2016 Nissan Murano, around milepost 111. Christiansen’s car then collided head-on with a red 2016 Chevrolet pickup.

Alaska State Troopers

A Soldotna man is facing murder and other felony charges after allegedly fleeing from the scene of a rollover crash that authorities said killed his passenger and injured two others in the car.

Alaska State Troopers said 50-year-old David Casey was driving in the early morning hours of Saturday after leaving a Kenai bar. Court filings said he lost control of a 2017 Audi on a curve and rolled over, fatally injuring a passenger who was ejected from the vehicle on Forest Lane outside Soldotna.

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.

Alaska State Troopers

Two people are safely back in Anchorage after their plane crashed in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Monday afternoon.

Alaska Department of Public Safety

A Nikiski woman was trampled by a cow moose Monday evening when she got too close to her newborn calf, according to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Fifty-one-year-old Crystal Cook was medevaced to Anchorage after the run-in, which occurred on her property before 7 p.m. Alaska Wildlife Trooper Joe Morris said Cook was reported to be in stable condition.

Alaska State Troopers

A Fairbanks resident died in an accident yesterday on the Seward Highway.

The Alaska State Troopers identified 31-year-old Allen Solomon as the victim in a fatal collision at highway Mile 30, ear Moose Pass. The report said Solomon drove his car into the rear end of a Department of Transportation and Public Facilities road grader, which was plowing at the time, shortly after 1:30 p.m. 

Redoubt Reporter

Another fatality was reported on the Seward Highway this week.

Thirty-four-year-old Anchorage resident Ifomaava Tagalu was pronounced dead at the scene after his truck collided with another truck near Granite Creek on Tuesday morning, according to an Alaska State Trooper report.

Troopers say a northbound truck lost control and “fishtailed” into oncoming traffic. It hit Tagalu’s truck head on.

State of Alaska

Sarah Dayan of Homer was indicted on charges relating to the death of Keith Huss of Soldotna.

Huss’s body was found Sept. 29 on the Seward Highway in Turnagain Pass. He had been shot and there was trauma to his body, according to a report from the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office.

Huss had picked up Dayan from Wildwood Pretrial facility the day before he died. He was her non-parent custodian and had bailed her out on a felony theft case, according to state court records.

Alaska State Troopers

 The Alaska State Troopers detained a Homer woman suspected of homicide Thursday, according to a state trooper dispatch.

The woman is 35-year-old Sarah Dayan, who was wanted in connection with the death of 57-year-old Keith Huss, of Soldotna.

Alaska State Troopers

A 22-year-old Nikiski woman died this weekend following a reported car chase.

According to an Alaska State Troopers report, officers attempted to stop Olivia Mapes around 2 p.m. Saturday for swerving across the center and fog lines on the Kenai Spur Highway. Mapes didn’t stop, and when she turned off the highway, a pursuit ensued, according to the state’s online trooper dispatch.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Troopers have identified the victim of a fatal bear mauling last Thursday near Hope.

46-year old Daniel Schilling of Hope was found dead by family and friends after he was overdue to come home. Troopers say he was out clearing a trail about a mile behind his property, which is about mile 8 of the Hope Highway, that day, but his wife became concerned when he was late and his dog came home without him.

Alaska State Troopers

In response to objections from several municipalities in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formed a working group to come up with recommendations on how to consolidate dispatching services for the Alaska State Troopers.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety announced in mid-May that it would consolidate all the emergency dispatching services from the Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su valley, and Southeast to a facility in Palmer. The issue has been going on for several years, when the DPS first announced the plan under the Walker administration, though the new center was originally planned for Anchorage.

Alaska State Troopers

  A Nikiski teenager was killed in a four-wheeler accident on Monday night.

Fourteen-year-old Skylar Lyon was out riding a four-wheeler along Halbouty Road in Nikiski around 8 p.m. when he went off the road and hit a tree, according to Alaska State Troopers.


If you call 911 on the Kenai Peninsula right now, chances are that your call goes to a big building in Soldotna just down the street from Safeway. From there, the emergency call center dispatchers determine who to send to help.  

Kenai, Seward and Homer handle their own dispatching, but the staff at the emergency dispatch center serve the Alaska State Troopers, CES and the Soldotna Police Department, among other services, which covers a big chunk of the central peninsula. Last year, the center processed more than 24,000 calls.

A Sterling couple died in a vehicle collision just after noon Friday at Mile 90.5 of the Sterling Highway just east of Soldotna, near the Jim Dahler Road-Forest Lane intersection

Alaska State Troopers

Feb. 3 update: The offier involved in the shooting was Sgt. Robert Hunter, a 20-year veteran of the Alaska State Troopers.


An Alaska State Trooper was involved in a shooting in Kasilof on Wednesday. According to a Department of Public Safety report, troopers in Soldotna received a report of a domestic disturbance possibly involving a gunshot in the area of Coho Loop at around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. 

Pilot of doomed air ambulance identified

Dec 2, 2019

The pilot of the air ambulance that crashed outside Cooper Landing Friday and killed three has been identified. Glen Morthorpe was the director of operations for Security Aviation, which operated the Medevac Alaska flight that also killed registered nurse Rob Cartner and paramedic Maddox Burts.
    Shortly after 7 p.m. the twin-engine Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed into the Kenai Mountains at about 1,450 feet near Mile 61 of the Sterling Highway and was witnessed by several motorists who contacted the Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna.

      Three men are dead after their aircraft crashed Friday evening in the mountains west of Cooper Landing.

On Friday about 7:12 p.m. Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna received multiple reports of an airplane crash near Jean Lake. A helicopter from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center responded and located the crash site that night, but was unable to land due to weather and terrain.

Saturday afternoon the Troopers' Helo 3 attempted to reach the crash of the Piper Navajo Chieftain, but also was unable to land in the area.

The Central Kenai Peninsula is unfortunately well-represented on the recently released list of Alaska State Trooper cold case files.
    There are four homicides from the peninsula on the list of 69 unsolved killings statewide. Florence Tagala of Kenai was killed in 1977. Theodore Goodmann of Hope was killed in 1983. Charles Talbert of Seward was killed in September 1998, and Gerald Sibley of Kenai was killed in 2002.
    There are 109 unexplained disappearances on the list, with 18 from the Kenai.

Three Kasilof residents killed in two accidents

Aug 9, 2019

        Sunday was an exceptionally bad day for residents of Kasilof. Three of its own were killed in two separate outdoor accidents.

Mid Sunday afternoon the Alaska State Troopers were called to the Kasilof River, where two men were found dead about a mile upstream from the river mouth.

Sterling teen killed in ATV crash

Jun 12, 2019

A Sterling teenager was killed Monday evening in an ATV accident.

According to Trooper reports, 13-year-old Tori Verba was riding her ATV on Robinson Loop near Higher Ground when she lost control and crashed.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS personnel from Central Emergency Services. Verba was wearing a helmet. Troopers continue to investigate the crash.

Shooter allegedly terrorizes snowmachiners

Mar 18, 2019

A Friday evening snowmachine ride turned into a race for safety after two riders were apparently shot at by a third man.According to the Alaska State Troopers online dispatch, Soldotna AST headquarters received a report of the snowmachiners being shot at a little after 5 p.m. in the vicinity of Soldotna Creek.Responding troopers identified 65-year-old John Spinka of Soldotna as the alleged shooter.Spinka was booked into Wildwood Pretrial Facility on charges of Assault in the Third Degree. He is being held without bail. 

One-vehicle accident leaves driver dead

Mar 14, 2019

An Anchor Point man was killed in a one-vehicle accident on the Seward Highway near Moose Pass Wednesday afternoon.

At about a quarter of three, 46-year-old Marc Roderick was driving his 2007 Kenworth northbound on the highway near mile 34, pulling a trailer with an excavator on it.

The Alaska State Troopers report that the Kenworth left the roadway and struck the rock wall, causing the heavy equipment on the trailer to lurch forward, crushing the cab of the truck.

Roderick was pronounced dead on the scene. Next of kin have been notified.

Nikiski man arrested for killing, mutilating dog

Aug 29, 2018

On Tuesday night Alaska State Troopers were summoned to Duke Street in Nikiski after reports of a verbal disturbance.

According to an online dispatch, after an investigation the troopers arrested 41-year-old Michael Ohms on two charges of animal cruelty, violating a protective order, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Wisconsin angler missing on Kenai River

Aug 29, 2018

Efforts continue to locate a Wisconsin man who went missing when his boat capsized on the Kenai River Monday evening.

The missing man was identified by Alaska State Troopers as 68-year-old Daniel Hass of Algoma, Wisconsin.

Two other men were rescued after their boat overturned near Moose Medows. Troopers ID'd them as 68-year-old Charles Bohman and 64-year-old Lawrence Paul, both also of Algoma.