Anchorage driver collides with police vehicle, both parties injured

Published: Jul. 14, 2017 at 10:05 AM AKDT
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A police vehicle, which was responding to an incident in Anchorage, was struck by a civilian-driven truck Friday morning, according to Anchorage Police Dept. officials.

The crash happened at approximately 8:35 a.m. at the intersection of Benson and New Seward.

Prior to the collision, an officer driving her patrol vehicle was responding to a call of a woman running through traffic in the area of Tudor and Piper, said APD Sgt. Cameron Hokenson.

"Our officer was responding with emergency lights, going eastbound on Benson," he said. "As she was going through, she had a red light, but was clearing the intersection lane by lane.

"When she got to the last lane, a vehicle didn't stop, but she thought the way was clear, and she was struck," he said.

The civilian truck driver, who was heading northbound on New Seward, collided directly with the police vehicle.

Sgt. Hokenson said that while the civilian truck driver had a green light, the officer was attempting to make herself visible, but the driver did not stop for the officer. Additionally, the officer did not see the civilian truck until it was too late.

Both the driver of the truck and the officer inside the police cruiser sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to Sgt. Hokenson. They were both transported to a local hospital.

Sgt. Hokenson said he wanted to remind citizens to exercise caution and implement defensive driving, no matter when and where people are on the roads.

"We have an awesome responsibility as officers, when we're responding to emergencies," Sgt. Hokenson said. "You don't just see our people drive through intersections crazily with their lights and sirens on. We stop, (and) we make the best conscious effort to make sure the way is clear, before we go."

MJ Thim, a public information officer for the department, said that one lane of traffic was blocked, in order to clear the two vehicles, which were both towed away.

As of 10 o'clock Friday morning, all lanes were cleared, and traffic resumed as normal.