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'Ice Road Truckers' crew seriously injured in crash with tanker truck


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/18/2009 

Several Ice Road Trucker production crew members reportedly received a firsthand lesson in just how dangerous a remote Alaskan highway can be during an intense blizzard.

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Two members of the History network reality series' crew were seriously injured when their pickup truck crashed into a semi while navigating Alaska's Dalton Highway during a blizzard, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

According to North Slope Borough police, the incident occurred last Thursday when the pickup -- which was being driven by 58-year-old Arlington, WA resident Rick Jumper -- struck a Carlyle Trucking tanker approximately 22 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America.

Jumper and passenger Ben Swinehart, a 24-year-old from North Hollywood, CA, were subsequently transported to a local clinic before being flown to Anchorage, according to The AP, which added their conditions were not available as of Tuesday night.

Additional pickup passengers Hugh Peterson and Scott Simper sustained minor injuries while Jeremy Walton, the semi's driver, was not injured, The AP reported.

North Slope Borough Police Lt. Jeff Brown said the crash occurred while winds were blowing 70 MPH and visibility was near zero on the Dalton Highway -- a mostly gravel road used by oil field suppliers to haul gear and supplies to North Slope oil fields, according to The AP.

"It appears [the semi] may have been stopped in the roadway, because the weather was so bad," Brown told The AP, adding drifting snow made it almost impossible to see and it took police nearly three hours to drive the 10-mile distance to the crash site.

Jumper, Swinehart, Peterson and Simper were working for Original Productions, the production company behind Ice Road Truckers, History spokesman Michael Feeney told The AP.

"Our continued concern is with those who are injured and their families," Feeney said in a prepared statement. "We are in contact with the production company and know that they are all receiving excellent care."

Ice Road Truckers' third season is expected to premiere later this summer.

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