Petersburg Pilot -

Four dead in car crash

updated Wednesday July 29


Photo courtesy of Dave Berg

The black SUV lies on its side where it came to a halt after driving off the road and killing all four passengers inside.

Four individuals died in a car crash that occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning on Mitkof Island when their SUV drove off the roadway near the 27 mile marker of Mitkof Highway at a high rate of speed, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

Two of the passengers were Wrangell citizens Siguard Decker, 21, and Helen Decker, 19, according to the ADPS press release. Another passenger was identified as 29-year-old Ian Martin of Petersburg, according to the press release. The fourth passenger was Dennis Lord, 37, of New York, according to another ADPS press release. The next of kin of all four individuals have been notified of the incident.

At about 10:18 A.M. on Tuesday, Alaska State Troopers received a request for a welfare check on four people who were last known to be headed south on Mitkof Island towards the Blind Slough area on Monday, according to the ADPS release. While responding, troopers were informed of a vehicle wreck near the 27 mile mark of Mitkof Highway. Alaska Wildlife Troopers arrived on the scene of the wreck and determined all four occupants of the vehicle were deceased, according to the press release. The individuals were also the subjects of the welfare check.

An initial investigation shows the vehicle left the roadway at a high rate of speed and impacted several trees, destroying the vehicle, according to the press release. The occupants of the vehicle were wearing seat belts and airbags were deployed. According to the press release, alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crash, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Troopers from Juneau have been deployed to assist with the investigation.

Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Dave Berg said the vehicle likely rolled over at least once and spun around a tree before coming to a halt on its side. Firefighters had to cut off the top of the vehicle and some seats to remove the bodies, said Berg. A spreader also had to be used to pry the dashboard from up against the front seats.

“It’s taxing when you’re working on a car trying to get somebody loose, and they’re trapped, and they’re deceased, and there’s nothing you can do about it other than to work towards getting them out,” said Berg.

All four individuals’ bodies were transferred to Petersburg Medical Center, said Berg.


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