A Delta Junction man escaped with minor aches and pains after Alaska State Troopers say his van was rear-ended by two other vehicles on the Richardson Highway Monday, including a U.S. Army Stryker armored personnel carrier.
A Tuesday AST dispatch says troopers arrived at the crash, at the Richardson’s intersection with Jack Warren Road, just before 11:30 a.m. Steven Booth, 51, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet van south on the highway, followed by an M1126 Stryker from Fort Wainwright carrying five people. According to U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll, the Stryker was en route to the nearby Donnelly Training Area for squad exercises.
The Stryker, an eight-wheeled personnel carrier capable of transporting an infantry squad into battle at speeds of up to 62 mph, weighs about 18 tons. It is armed with a remote-controlled turret carrying an M2 .50-caliber machine gun, an M249 7.62mm machine gun or a Mk19 automatic 40mm grenade launcher.
When Booth slowed to make a left turn onto Jack Warren Road, the Stryker -- driven by 21-year-old Spc. Joshua Anderson -- struck the van. The impact sent it spinning into the path of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by 58-year-old Delta Junction man Alan Ownby, which also rear-ended Booth’s van.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says Booth had to be convinced by people at the scene to visit the Delta Family Medical Clinic to be evaluated -- a fate far better than that of his vehicle after the two collisions.
“His minivan turned into an extra-mini,” Peters said.
No other injuries were reported in the incident, and the Stryker suffered only paint damage to an “oversize” sign attached to the vehicle.
Peters says roads in the area were reportedly “a sheet of ice” at the time of the crash.
Anderson, the Stryker’s driver, was cited for basic speed.
Contact Chris Klint