Details of the accident:
Hummer wreaks rush-hour chaos
CRASHES: Driver runs light, hits four vehicles, police say.
By Peter Porco
Anchorage Daily News (Published: August 27, 2002)
At least two people were injured Monday afternoon after a motorist drove a new Hummer through a red light, slammed into two vehicles and then sped down the wrong side of the road and hit two more vehicles, police said.
One car hit by the Hummer caromed into a van, making for a total of six vehicles in what looked to other drivers like a demolition derby.
The man behind the wheel of the Hummer was Rodney Udd. He owns the Hummer of Alaska dealership on Fifth Avenue, according to salesman Howard Castle at Anchorage Chrysler Dodge, Hummer's parent company.
Udd was treated at and released from Providence Alaska Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said. He could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Police Sgt. Gil Davis said police are still investigating.
"There doesn't seem to be any alcohol involved," he said. "It may be some kind of medical problem, maybe a seizure."
The crash tied up rush-hour traffic on DeBarr Road. At 6:15 p.m., two hours later, the maroon Hummer lay crossways in the eastbound lanes of DeBarr, its front end mashed to an unrecognizable tangle, its door alarm ringing and radio playing.
"It's still got that new-car smell," Davis said.
The 2003 Hummer, Castle said, was Udd's demonstration model, worth about $60,000. It was totaled, police said.
The Hummer, southbound on Airport Heights Drive, had stopped for a red light at DeBarr. The driver sat through the green light, Davis said, and when the light changed again to red, he took off into the intersection.
Tammy Morse, a 32-year-old delivery driver westbound on DeBarr, was behind the wheel of the first vehicle struck by the Hummer, a white Pet Pantry van. She braked hard and the Hummer opened a hole in her front bumper but bounced away into another vehicle, she said.
"He just plowed through everybody else," said Morse, who was uninjured. "He ignored me, hit the extended-cab (truck) and turned and headed down the sidewalk."
The Hummer spun around after striking the second vehicle and then sped west down the eastbound side of DeBarr, she said.
"I couldn't believe it," Morse said.
It seemed even more shocking to Jenette Jemison, a 21-year-old student driving east in her sister's late-model Mazda sedan.
Heading up the hill outside Alaska Regional Hospital, Jemison found the square-nosed, wide-body Hummer -- the civilian version of the military's Humvee -- coming straight for her.
"He was on the sidewalk, and I'm thinking, 'What the hell!' " Jemison said. " 'He's going to turn away.' But he doesn't. He just keeps coming."
Jemison said traffic was heavy and drivers around her were blowing their horns and trying to get out of the way. She squeezed left but not far enough. The Hummer came off the sidewalk and smashed into the Mazda, spinning it into the left lane, where it was hit by a van.
A few car lengths later, the Hummer smashed head-on into a Dodge Ram pickup. "That ended it," Davis said.