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Family safe after Alaska highway collision

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 30, 2007

After surviving a nasty collision on the Alaska highway, Louie Goose and his family are waiting to return home.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Louie Goose and his son Darryl clean their van recently. Goose and his family were on vacation driving in Alaska when they were involved in a collision. The family is safe, but are waiting to return home. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

A truck that was passing oncoming traffic struck the driver's side of Goose's van on Aug. 23 around mile 336 of the Number 2 Alaska highway.

His daughter Anika Carrie Goose suffered a broken collarbone in the accident.

Goose said the driver of the truck was thrown from the vehicle and landed about 50 feet away.

"The driver shouldn't have been driving so fast or passing vehicles," said Goose. "It was a double solid-line zone, which means no passing on either side."

Goose and his family left Inuvik on Aug 17, one week after his performance at the End of the Road music festival, heading for Anchorage, Alaska, to meet a family member.

Goose said that before his family of five got into their van in North Pole, Alaska, they did their regular routine: a seatbelt check and a prayer.

"The conditions were great for driving," said Goose.

Although it was late afternoon, Goose said he wanted to cover as much distance as possible, with the destination of Whitehorse, Yukon.

Goose said when he saw the truck coming out of the traffic and approaching fast, he acted quickly and managed to avoid a head on collision and keep his vehicle on the road at the same time. The air bags deployed.

Goose said he parked his van on the side of the road and checked his family for injuries.

"They were scared, but nobody was bleeding," he said.

"It was then that we noticed that Anika was injured.

"It all happened so fast."

Goose said that he inspected his vehicle after the collision and saw that the driver's side of his van was scraped to the point that both bumpers were off.

"The rear window was smashed in, the mirror was gone as well," he said.

The Ski-doo trailer that the family had been towing was also damaged.

Goose said that the trailer was sliced in two pieces by the oncoming truck.

"It looks like the truck hit the wheel and became airborne," said Goose.

Goose saw the damage done to a nearby tree by the flying truck.

"The damage to the tree was about six feet high," he said.

Drivers and passers-by stopped to help Goose and his family.

"Before I knew what was happening, there were already people who wanted to help," he said.

"They had foam mattresses for our kids to sit on."

Goose is now waiting with his family in Alaska, ready to come home.

"We want to relax and get off the road," he said.

Their insurance providers got back to Goose Aug. 28, saying the van was a writeoff due to damages.

"We're going to wait and see if we can get a rental, if not we're going to bus to Whitehorse and get a new vehicle," said Goose.

"We're just grateful to all those people who helped us through this."

Goose said he expects to be back in Inuvik within a week.