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Old 02-24-2013, 12:31 PM
1 posts, read 1,098 times
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There was an accident between a small passenger car and a semi on Parks Highway on Wednesday 2/20/2013 afternoon at 345 Mile. The accident resulted in a fatality of the driver in the small car. Based on the only eyewitness present (the unbuckled truck driver) it was the smaller car that lost control and came out onto the oncoming lane. If there were any witness that saw otherwise and didn't step forward or stop, I would urge you to submit an eyewitness report.

It is a statistical fact that drivers coming into familiar territory get more relaxed and are more likely to cause accidents. Who was more likely to cause the accident: an inexperienced 25 yr old trucker coming into his last twenty mile-stretch, or a 21 yr old who has never been in a car accident before (was buckled) and had just left town.

Again, if there are any eye witnesses that can confirm the trucker's story, saw otherwise, please post and/or come forward so the investigation can completed quicker so the family of the deceased can have some closure. Thank You.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:20 PM
Location: Fairbanks, AK
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I would hardly call a truck driver, at any age, inexperienced, unless he was just brand new or something.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:35 PM
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Plus the truck driver likely had more driving experience being he is 4 years older. I am sorry for the loss of the 21 year old though. Police are almost always able to reconstruct an accident and tell what really happened by the impact and skid marks.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:35 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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A person can become a professional truck driver at 19 years of age with a Commercial Driver's License(CDL). Just because of his age doesn't make him an inexperienced driver.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:13 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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The troopers usually can assess what happened by examining the marks on and off the road, so without witnesses other than the truck driver, all they can do is to rely on their assessment of the accident.

Man killed in Parks Highway accident identified - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News
Troopers investigating the crash believe the Yudin lost control while rounding a turn and drove into the oncoming lane.
That said (posted, really) it's very sad that a young person died in the accident. It's one of those things that when it happens it breaks any parent's heart. A couple of months ago in North Pole a young boy rode his bike across the entrance to a gas station, just when a truck was turning in. By the time the driver realized what had happened it was too late. This too was very sad, a heartbreaking event.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:58 PM
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I am sorry for the loss of life in that accident and please accept my sympathy in this difficult time. Fatal (and even serious-injury non-fatal) accidents are heart breaking, period. The person either isn't coming home or won't be the same ever again -- too high a price to pay for a traffic accident, regadless of who is at fault. I have a lot of experience in handling traffic accidents, so I thought I would share some of my inside, insights. If I offend anyone, that wasn't my intent.

FWIW, years ago, I worked in a unit that our main assignment was to handle traffic accidents. FWIW, I have investigated hundreds of traffic accidents, possibly over 1,000 to date. However, I never worked traffic homicide, specifically. As a large Metropolitan Police Department, we have a special unit that only handles those cases and nothing else. They take over the investigation after the preliminary investigation is done by the 'road' unit. I still handled the initial investigation and wrote the intial traffic crash report, though. It appears that in AST, the responding trooper has the case from start to finish, but I don't know this as fact. Maybe the ex-Alaskan State Trooper that posts on here can chime in on that.

The first myth I need to bust, the person who is at fault in an accident is not the driver with the least/most experience. Niether is closeness to home, familiarity with the area/road, etc... It might explain why someone did something that wasn't the correct course of action, after that 'something' is determined. For example, I have hundreds of thousands of miles of experience driving all sorts of passenger vehicles/trucks, as well as, 24 years of driving experience. I am a certified, active, emergency vehicle operator too and have been for 18 years now. However, I have little snow/ice driving experience, as I live in an area that doesn't get any snow/ice. In a few months I could get a CDL and drive a truck and decide to drive a rig in AK- At that point, I would be a 'greenhorn', newbie, inexperienced heavy/commercial truck driver. Someone inexperienced might over-correct, brake too hard on snow/ice lose control and slam into an oncoming vehicle or was just driving when the experienced driver who knew the area/roads fell asleep, lost control and slammed head on into the newbie truck driver. A persons driving history is generally part of the investigation, anyways. Do you know the driving history and experience of the two drivers? Either one could have less than a year of driving experience or years of driving experience. I know plenty of young adults that waited until they were 19-20 to get their license and some 20 somethings that live in an area that you don't need a car and still don't 'drive'.

There is alot to be gleaned from the physicial evidence, there is an on-scene investigation and an off scene investigation of other evidence. This is collected evidence that needs to be analyzed off scene later. As someone already stated, skid marks, yaw marks, co-efficient of friction readings need to be taken, debris fields analyzed, and each vehicles computer, all contribute to the investigation. Scene photos as well. Not sure how well skid/yaw marks evidence works on snow/ice, but there will be some evidence to collect regardless. Cell phones can also help determine if distracted driving played a part too. Blood tests from all drivers are usually done to determine if any impairment played a part too. All of the above is what I would call, just the basics. For a time delay reason, just think of any historical high profile death case where an overdose was suspected, it takes weeks just to get the toxicology results back, which are generally rushed, and that is just one part of an accident investigation.

Having said the above, independent eye witness accounts are valuable and sworn statements will be taken from all that come forward. They can and do help, however, I doubt it will 'rush' the investigators to close their case any faster. It doesn't 'rush' us here or cause the investigation to be closed any faster (typically). Certain things need to be done and they all take time, weeks to months. I have mentioned a bunch of 'things' above that could be done. AK being pretty remote, I bet a lot of the analysis doesn't take place within a few miles of the accident scene either - it all has to be transferred to a lab somehwere and strict chain of custody rules have to be followed too. I know that this does little to comfort the family of the deceased person who are waiting for the results - but these are critical and neccessary steps for a complete and accurate accident investigation/reconstruction. Because this is a fatal accident, there is a lot riding on the investigative outcome. I am sure that everyone here is aware, that there is a potential for a huge effect on the person who is determined to be at fault - from criminal to potential significant financial repercussions. IMHO, This isn't something you want rushed nor should it be.
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