Troopers ‘tentatively’ identify truck carrying rock that killed 8-year-old Eagle River boy

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 13:01

State investigators believe they’ve identified the driver of a truck from which a rock fell and killed an 8-year-old boy Thursday on the Sterling Highway but have yet to release a name or further details about the incident.

“Investigators have tentatively identified the vehicle and driver involved,” Jonathon Taylor of the Department of Public Safety said in a Friday email.

However, Taylor said, investigators are still looking for anyone who saw the incident, which claimed the life of Noah Schwebach, and said anyone who might have information should contact the Soldotna post of the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 262-4453.

Troopers on Thursday said Schwebach was in the middle back seat of a Volkswagen GTI Hatchback that was northbound on the Sterling Highway and was struck by a rock that fell from a southbound rock truck. The rock went through the windshield and hit the boy, troopers said. He died at the scene.

Anchorage School District spokeswoman Catherine Esary said Schwebach was a student at Mt. Spurr Elementary on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. No one answered the door of the Schwebach family home Friday in Eagle River.

The incident occurred near Mile 58.7 of the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula, near its intersection with the eastern end of Skilak Lake Road, where the highway is being resurfaced and widened, according to the project website.

Contractor Granite Construction is the overseeing the project. On Friday, the company issued a statement saying it’s cooperating with investigators and unaware of any of its trucks or drivers being involved.

“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident on the Sterling Highway. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schwebach family,” read a statement issued by Granite corporate spokesperson Jacqueline Fourchy. “While the incident occurred within our project site, we are presently unaware that any of our equipment or personnel were involved. We are fully cooperating and assisting with the investigation. Out of respect for the family, we have voluntarily suspended night shift work on the roadway until Saturday night.”

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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