A damaged transport truck can be in seen in this photo taken from the scene of a deadly crash on the Alaska Highway near Rancheria Oct. 18. (RCMP handout)

Man dead after SUV and tractor trailer crash on Alaska Highway near Rancheria

‘Panic at the restaurant’ after highway shut down overnight for investigation

One man is dead following a crash between a tractor trailer and a SUV on the Alaska Highway near Rancheria Oct. 18.

According to a Yukon RCMP press release, police received a call about the collision, which shut down the highway overnight, from a witness around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Watson Lake and Teslin RCMP as well as Watson Lake Fire and Emergency Medical Services and two Watson Lake coroners responded to the scene at kilometre 1106 of the Alaska Highway, where they found a Ford Edge SUV and B-train tractor trailer blocking the road.

The male driver of the SUV was dead on scene, the press release said. The driver of the tractor trailer suffered minor injuries and was taken to Watson Lake Health Centre.

The identity of the deceased has not been released.

The Department of Highways and Public Works officially closed the highway in both directions at 5:30 p.m. for investigation and cleanup, with blockages set up about 250 metres from the scene in both directions.

Jamie Horvath, a cook at the Rancheria Motel and Café, said in a phone interview the morning of Oct. 19 that there was “panic at the restaurant” in the hours following the crash with a number of drivers pulling in because they couldn’t continue down the highway.

Yukon RCMP Traffic Services completed its work just before 4 a.m. Oct. 19 and the highway reopened at 7 a.m.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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