No major injuries reported in Glenn Highway collision involving up to 40 vehicles

Jan. 25—The Glenn Highway was closed in both directions at midday Thursday at the Knik River bridges in Mat-Su after a massive vehicle pileup in dense fog and frigid cold, authorities said.

Thirty to 40 vehicles were involved but no major injuries were initially reported, said Ken Barkley, director of Emergency Services with Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

The inbound lanes were initially closed at the Parks Highway interchange around 11:30 a.m., troopers said. Traffic was being diverted through Palmer to the Old Glenn Highway, according to troopers.

By noon, the northbound lanes of the highway had also been closed at the intersection with the Old Glenn Highway, troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said in an email.

It wasn't immediately clear how long the highway would be closed.

Visibility over the bridge was poor because of thick fog, and conditions on the bridge were icier than on other areas of the highway, Barkley said.

Additional collisions occurred even after first responders had reached the scene, causing a larger pileup and complicating access to the area, Barkley said. First responders from the Mat-Su Borough, Chugiak and Anchorage were on scene, he said. Troopers also responded to the crash, they said.

[Repairs planned for worn Glenn Highway bridges over Knik River]

Robert Borton was headed south on the highway Thursday when he called 911 to report a hazard on the bridge: a disabled pickup at the side of the left lane about 30 feet from the end of the span.

Burton said in a message that the "pea soup" fog was so thick he didn't even see the black truck with its hood up until he was just 5 feet away.

"He had pulled off as far as he could," Borton said.

Authorities didn't immediately say what initially triggered the pileup.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.