ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Six children were injured, two of them critically, in a Sunday crash on the Parks Highway near Healy that also injured two adults, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Troopers responded at about 7:20 p.m. to the crash, at Mile 249 of the highway. A 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV driven by Roxanne Stickel, 46, was headed north when a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driven by 52-year-old Nathan Collin was seen headed south in the northbound lane.
Stickel entered the southbound lane to avoid a collision, but Collin’s Tacoma made what an AST dispatch calls “an aggressive and sudden lane change” back into the southbound lane and struck the Tahoe. The impact sent the Tahoe, carrying Stickel and six children from ages 10 to 16, careening into a ditch and rolling down an embankment before it came to rest on its passenger side and trapped the occupants inside.
Tri-Valley and Clear emergency medical service responders required specialty equipment to remove the entire roof of the Tahoe and reach the people inside, all of whom were injured.
A 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were treated at the Canyon Clinic in Healy, while the other four children were medevaced to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. A 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were admitted for unspecified injuries -- but two girls, ages 10 and 16, were transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and are listed in critical condition.
Vehicle drivers Stickel and Collin, both Fairbanks residents, suffered only minor injuries. Both the Tahoe and the Tacoma were total losses.
An investigation of the crash is in progress. Troopers say airbags deployed in both vehicles, all occupants reportedly wore seat belts and alcohol was not a factor.