No injuries were reported in a head-on Seward Highway collision that totaled both vehicles involved, with Alaska State Troopers saying traffic backed up on the highway for hours Sunday evening was not caused by the crash.
In a Sunday AST dispatch, troopers say they arrived at Mile 105.8 of the highway, as measured from Seward, just before 4:10 p.m.
“Investigation revealed John Schuelke, age 48 of Anchorage, was driving a 2013 Ford pickup north,” troopers wrote. “Schuelke crossed the centerline and struck a 2012 Chevrolet van that was driving south on the Seward Highway and was driven by Charles Jacob, age 67 of Utah.”
Neither Schuelke nor Jacob accepted offers of medical evaluations at the scene.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says there were a total of 10 people in the vehicles, with three in Schuelke's truck and seven in Jacob's van. Schuelke was subsequently cited for a moving violation.
"Schuelke was (adjusting) his radio when he crossed the centerline," Peters wrote in an email.
According to Peters, the highway was closed only sporadically for a few minutes at a time. She says the backup was due to "too many cars on the road," with vehicles seen stopped northbound at the Alyeska Highway turnoff toward Girdwood Sunday delayed by a glut of people returning to Anchorage rather than the crash.
"It wasn't a severe wreck," Peters said. "It sounds like (traffic) was backed up farther away from the wreck."
Troopers say everyone involved in the crash was wearing seat belts, and that alcohol was not a factor.
Channel 2's Shannon Riddle and Mike Ross contributed information to this story.