Parks Highway crash: AST and by-standers speak on deadly traffic accident

Published: Sep. 4, 2018 at 8:55 PM AKDT
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Alaska State Troopers have identified the eight people involved in a Parks Highway collision on Monday. Around 4:30 p.m., troopers received several reports of a vehicle collision at mile 156 on the Parks Highway. According to Lt. Brian Wassmann with state troopers, Cary Taylor–Bloomquist of Palmer, with her 5–year–old daughter Adeline Bloomquist, was driving her 2018 Subaru Outback southbound on the Parks when she crossed the center line and collided with two motorcycles in the northbound lane.

David Fulton of North Pole suffered a critical lower body injury and he was airlifted to an Anchorage area hospital. Jeffrey Esley also from North Pole, was driving another motorcycle northbound with his wife, Charlene Esley as a passenger, who were struck and died at the scene.

Wife of David Fulton, Heidi Fulton was driving northbound behind the two motorcycles and crashed into the Subaru, which was still in the northbound lane after hitting the motorcycles. The collision killed Cary Taylor–Bloomquist and critically injured her daughter Adeline who was airlifted to Providence Hospital in Anchorage where she later died from her injuries.

Heidi Fulton was not seriously injured, however two of her children, ages 10 and 3, were in the truck with her and were transported to a Wasilla area hospital by ground ambulance. The extent of their injuries is unknown but not believed to be life threatening.

"Right now the investigation is still in its preliminary stages. We don't know if drugs or alcohol were involved. Right now we don't suspect they were but we don't know until we do the blood tests,” Lt. Wassmann said.

Wassmann was the main point of contact for the Trooper team responding to the accident. Sergeant Joel Miner, Trooper John Williamson and Trooper Mitch Lewis from the Cantwell Trooper station responded to the call.

"Unfortunately we had a lot of traffic on the high way and this collision occurred in an area where it was pretty remote, so we didn't have a presence out there at that time and unfortunately this collision occurred,” he added.

Traffic was stopped up to at least eight miles with motorists and passengers helping in any way they could. Different by-standers racing up to the impact location with first aid kits and aiding nurses in CPR. Elizabeth Hartman and her husband Blaine, shared in this rescue effort. Blaine utilizing his own first aid kit to help.

"If it was me, I'd want someone to do all they could to help me and if it was my family. It makes you realize what's important in life,” he said.

The couple reached the stopped traffic about 20 minutes after the crash occurred. They said it was at least 45 minutes until emergency services arrived. They agreed that it was an amazing community collaboration, “They were the ones, the true heroes I think to keep those people alive as long as they could."

Lt. Wassmann said that all vehicles have been towed from the scene and traffic resumed to normal as of 4 a.m. Tuesday.