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Troopers Name 3 Men Injured in Sterling Highway Crash

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Mar 04 2014 05:05:48 PM AKST
Updated On: Mar 04 2014 05:07:33 PM AKST
ANCHORAGE -

Alaska State Troopers have identified the three men injured in a Sterling Highway crash near Anchor Point Monday, including a Homer man who was ejected from his pickup truck and in critical condition.

According to a Tuesday AST dispatch, 51-year-old Mark Shufelt was at the wheel of a 1998 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck headed south near Mile 155 of the Sterling at the time of the crash, just after 4 p.m. Monday. He was flown to Anchorage after a collision with a 2005 Ford Taurus carrying two Ninilchik men -- driver Donald Krech, 56, and passenger Timothy Johnson, 54.

“Both vehicles exited the west side of the road and rolled numerous times,” troopers wrote. “(Shufelt) was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.”

Krech and Johnson both sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and were taken to South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. Shufelt was initially taken there as well, but subsequently medevaced; troopers say he was listed as critical as of Tuesday morning.

Investigating troopers closed the highway completely for about 20 minutes, with traffic moving intermittently after the crash. The names of the injured were initially withheld pending notification of next of kin.

AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen says that while the crash remains under investigation, road and weather conditions have been eliminated as potential factors.

“The roads were nice and dry; the weather was beautiful,” Ipsen said. “We can rule those out, so it’s just a matter of putting the rest together.”

Ipsen says troopers have made no determination whether or not drugs or alcohol were involved in the collision.