Jeffrey Turner, 23, a Tampa Bay, Florida, resident, died in a vehicle rollover in Hoonah sometime between 10 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday, Alaska State Troopers confirmed Saturday. The accident left another man requiring surgery.
Hoonah police reported a vehicle collision on Long Island Road at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters confirmed by phone with the Empire Friday. Both parties were ejected from a Ford Explorer travelling along a gravel road, trooper Chris Umbs told the Empire Saturday.
Turner had spent four summer seasons in Hoonah working at Hoonah Cold Storage and visiting his brother Justin Turner, his mother Kristen Chasteen Permenter wrote in an email to the Empire.
“He loved the wilderness and animals, and Alaska was the most beautiful place he had ever seen,” Permenter wrote. “We are beside ourselves with grief as only the loss of a child could do.”
Troopers haven’t yet released the name of the surviving party, who was medevaced to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau Friday morning, and as of 2:30 p.m. that day was listed in stable condition, BRH CEO Chuck Bill told the Empire.
Turner’s body will be transported to the state medical examiner for an autopsy, according to a trooper dispatch online.
Umbs said the survivor of the crash is a 24-year-old man whom he believes to be a co-worker of Turner’s at Hoonah Cold Storage. Troopers are waiting to speak with the survivor before they release his name.
The dispatch states that Hoonah police responded to an overturned vehicle, but authorities are currently unaware of the circumstances. The crash took place in trooper jurisdiction outside of Hoonah city limits, and troopers are still on scene investigating.
A friend of Turner’s has started a memorial fund to help his family pay for travel and funeral costs. “Jeffrey’s Memorial Fund,” can be found at www.gofundme.com/jeffreyturner.