Man fatally struck by tanker truck trying to aid snowmachiner on Parks Highway

An Anchorage man died in an accident along the Parks Highway south of Anderson. An Alaska State Trooper dispatch says 22-year-old Sylvester Smith got out of his vehicle to help a snowmachiner along the highway Monday night, and was hit by a tanker truck. Troopers say the truck driver, 65-year-old Robert Smith of Anderson was not injured in the crash.

The accident occurred after 6 p.m. Monday, near Parks Highway milepost 280, 3.5 miles south of the junction with the access road to Anderson and Clear Air Force station. Work to clear and map the crash scene reduced traffic flow along the section of highway for several hours Monday night. Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement also responded to the accident, which is being investigated.

A message sent to the University of Alaska Fairbanks community from UAF Chancellor Dan White says Smith was a petroleum engineering major, and a longtime student employee with the Office of Information Technology. The letter offers condolences to Smith’s family, colleagues and friends, noting free counseling and support are available to students and staff coping with the loss.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.