Alaska State Troopers say a prominent North Dakota politician has been killed in a car crash along the Sterling Highway.
Troopers say shortly before noon on Monday, a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban driven by North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem, 59, was involved in a single-vehicle rollover on Mile 104.2 of the highway, just south of Soldotna.
An AST dispatch on the crash issued Monday evening listed the vehicle’s passengers as Stenehjem's son Robert W. Stenehjem Jr., 34, his grandson Daniel Stenehjem, 11, all of Bismarck, N.D., and 34-year-old Keith Johnson of Hinckley, Minn.
Troopers say Stenehjem was headed north on the highway when he crossed the center line, driving through the southbound lane and off the adjacent shoulder into a ditch. The Suburban continued along the ditch, struck an embankment and rolled several times, coming to rest on its roof in a driveway.
Only Stenehjem’s grandson Daniel was wearing a seat belt, and the three men were ejected from the vehicle. All four occupants were taken to Central Peninsula Hospital, where Bob Stenehjem was pronounced dead.
Johnson was in critical condition and taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, while Robert Stenehjem Jr. was in stable condition with broken bones. Daniel Stenehjem was treated and released.
Troopers say alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, and next of kin have been notified as an investigation continues.
Stenehjem's brother, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, said in an email obtained by Channel 2 Monday that Bob Stenehjem was on a fishing vacation.
Wayne Stenehjem also said that Stenehjem Jr., was being treated for a broken arm sustained in the accident, and that Daniel Stenehjem was not injured.
Bob Stenehjem had served in the North Dakota state legislature since 2003.
Contact Jason Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org