ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska State Troopers have identified the people, all Anchorage residents, involved in Wednesday night's rear-ending of a BMW coupe that left one motorcyclist dead and another wounded.
According to AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen, the deceased motorcyclist was 61-year-old John Beyers. Troopers initially said Beyers was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, but said Thursday morning after speaking with witnesses that he was. Beyers was pronounced dead by medical staff at Providence Alaska Medical Center, with his next of kin present.
Beyers worked as a chaplain for the Anchorage Jail, and was remembered by his supervisor Thursday as a man with a huge heart.
“I don't care how much education you have -- you cannot duplicate a big, tender heart," said Jim Duncan, the statewide chaplain for the Alaska Department of Corrections.
In an e-mail to Channel 2 Wednesday night, Ipsen wrote that troopers responded to the crash, near Mile 92.5 of the highway, at about 9 p.m. A BMW coupe driven by Gerald Hanson, 60, was headed north on the highway, followed by three motorcyclists -- Beyers, as well as Robert Farrington, 67, and Lee Lawson, 58 -- "riding in a staggered formation."