Corrections Officer, 4 Prisoners Killed in Seward Accident
Wednesday, November 27, 2002, 12:40 am
Tony Knowles has ordered state flags lowered to half staff on
Wednesday, November 27th in memory of James "Jamie"
Hesterberg of Wasilla. The Department of Corrections officer
and four prisoners died Tuesday when an 18-wheeler struck a state
van near Kenai Lake about 20 miles north of Seward on the snow-
and slush-slickened Seward Highway. Nine people were aboard the
van: seven prisoners and two prison transport officers. The prisoners
were being driven to Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward.
The impact caused the Ford van to go over a guard rail and it landed on its roof.
Hesterberg, 48, the van's driver, died at the scene. The 19-year
veteran of the Department of Corrections is the first corrections
officer in Alaska to be killed in the line of duty. He was anticipating
retirement next September.
is survived by his wife, Debra, and their three children: Scott,
14, Catherine, 13, and Mark, 12. The funeral will be held Wednesday,
November 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the Anchorage Baptist Temple. The
family, state correctional officers, and the Public Safety Employees
Association established the Jamie Hesterberg Memorial Fund. Donations
can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch or through the Public
Safety Employees Association, 4300 Boniface Parkway, No. 116,
Anchorage, AK 99504.
collision happened in the midst of a snow squall at roughly Mile
19.5 of the Seward Highway, a narrow area of the road where several
accidents have occurred in the past. The other officer in the
van, Dennis Nilsen of Eagle River, was treated at Providence
Seward Medical Center in Seward and then released. Three injured
prisoners were taken to Providence Seward Medical Center. Two
of them were later flown to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage.
inmates who died were Alphonsus Damian, 37, of Anchorage; William
Olanna, 39, of Brevig Mission; Moses Usugan, 40, no hometown
given; and Martin Fife, 33, of Anchorage. All were due for release
within one year.
of his service to the people and the state of Alaska, Gov. Tony
Knowles has ordered state flags lowered to half-staff in memory
of Officer James Hesterberg and the Alaskans in his custody on
Wednesday, November 27. Flags may be raised to full staff at
the end of the business day.
Alaska Peace Officer Honour Roll