Daily Archives: 31 August 2011

A Bad Day on Fairbanks Roads

I was driving on Airport Road yesterday near downtown. I never drive Airport, because the road has stop lights. I live in Fairbanks, why would I seek out stop lights? There are options.
Unfortunately, there was a wreck at the intersection with Cushman. The police were already there, and traffic cones were put out to vear traffic. One of Fairbanks’ Finest was throwing a temper tantrum over a cone that was knocked over. That was a tad embarrassing: Acting like a two year old in public may reflect well on North Pole, but not on Fairbanks. I wasn’t impressed.

Then I saw the motorcycle. It was fairly messed up after getting hit by a full size pickup, but I was hoping not enough to cause any serious injuries. The rider, it turns out, was from Japan. He was riding the Pan-American with a companion, who was on a separate bike. They had just returned from riding the Haul Road down from Deadhorse, and were going to the Visitor Center to find camping info when the second rider through the intersection was hit. He died on the way to the hospital. Damn. We get quite a few motorcycle fatalities in Alaska, so I’m never surprised by them. I guess it’s the fact that he just completed the Pan-American and was headed back south that makes it worse than usual. Damn.
As of this writing, the police have not stated how the accident happened, or who…if anyone…was at fault.

Earlier in the day, an 11 year old kid walking to school, was also hit by a car. He was actually in the cross walk with an attendent one block from school when a car ran a stop sign, ran up over the curb and at some point even drove through a hedge and hit the kid. He also died at the hospital. There is no doubt, in this case, who was at fault. Honestly folks, can we at least make some effort at paying attention here? There is no excuse for this in Fairbanks, Alaska. We have no traffic, there is no reason to be in a hurry, and the cell coverage sucks anyway, so just put that damn phone away while you are driving.
This isn’t rocket science.

Update: The driver of the truck was not at fault in the motorcycle death. Both vehicles had a green or yellow light.