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DOTPF Worker Dies After Fall at Dalton Highway Camp

Published On: Feb 07 2014 01:14:58 PM AKST   Updated On: Feb 07 2014 02:40:33 PM AKST
DOTPF Worker Dies After Fall at Dalton Highway Camp

A state equipment operator died Friday morning from his injuries after a fall at a Dalton Highway road maintenance camp, Alaska State Troopers say.

According to a Friday AST dispatch, Coldfoot wildlife troopers were informed of the incident just before 7 a.m. Friday by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities’ Chandalar camp, at Mile 239 of the Dalton.

“William L. Evans, 64 of Fairbanks, fell from a piece of equipment,” troopers wrote. “Evans sustained life-threatening injuries. People on scene reported that CPR was underway. A trooper arrived on scene and assisted with lifesaving measures.”

An Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. helicopter from the trans-Alaska pipeline’s Pump Station 5 responded to the camp and flew Evans to the Coldfoot airstrip, to meet a Guardian Flight air ambulance. He was pronounced dead at about 10:30 a.m. by Pump Station 5 medics.

DOTPF spokesperson Hannah Blankenship declined to give details on the initial incident Friday, citing an ongoing investigation. She says the Chandalar camp conducts year-round highway maintenance for Mile 209 through Mile 284 of the highway, from slightly north of the Wiseman turnoff to the vicinity of Galbraith Camp.

“Most notably, they are responsible for Atigun Pass and the Chandalar shelf,” Blankenship said.

According to Blankenship Evans, listed by the state as a journeyman equipment operator II, usually worked with gear used for snow removal and avalanche mitigation. He was one of 10 people who worked at the camp on an alternating basis, with DOTPF still working Friday to notify employees.

“We have five people on staff at a time,” Blankenship said. “They work a week-on, week-off work shift.”

AST spokesperson Megan Peters says there are no immediate indications of foul play in Evans’ death, which is being investigated by troopers as well as Alaska Occupational Safety and Health.

Editor's note: An initial version of this story inaccurately stated that Evans fell Thursday, and has been corrected.