Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 19:00

Attempt at heroism leads to accident

Anchorage police say a man trying to alert another driver to a potential vehicle malfunction ended up causing a major accident on the Glenn Highway near the South Peters Creek exit on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

According to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro, Anchorage’s James Paul Crocker, 34, was driving toward Anchorage in a red Dodge Neon when he “claimed to see sparks coming from a truck” driving in the left hand lane.

Crocker drove ahead of the truck, stopped near the exit, and left his vehicle in an apparent attempt to warn the truck’s driver of the sparks. According to Castro, Crocker’s actions started a chain reaction that caused a third vehicle to hit the truck, forcing it into Crocker’s Neon. A motorcyclist also drove off the road trying to avoid the crash.

Castro said one person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries; Crocker was cited and released for reckless driving and driving without insurance.

Castro stressed that drivers should contact authorities when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation rather than attempting to take matters into their own hands.

“The safe response for drivers in this type of situation would be to call APD dispatch, notify dispatch you are seeing a vehicle emitting sparks, and allow police to respond and safely pull the vehicle over to avoid creating further hazards on the road,” Castro wrote in a press release.


Boy struck crossing highway

As of press time Wednesday, Sept. 4, an 11-year-old boy remained in critical condition at an Anchorage hospital after being hit by a car on Labor Day near the Muldoon overpass.

According to APD, the boy was hit at around 7:41 p.m. while attempting to cross the inbound lanes of the highway. He and a friend had already crossed the outbound lanes while trying to get across the six-lane highway near the Tikhatnu Commons. The friend was not injured. The accident happened within sight of a pedestrian overpass on Muldoon Road, and police stressed that people should use “designated bike paths and sidewalks to ensure the safety of all Anchorage travelers.”

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