Beautiful evening disaster


Turnagain Arm/Gwen Fagerman Truax photo

The woman killed by a semi-truck along the Seward Highway Tuesday evening was a former Minnesotan and lover of Alaska who took great joy in posting photos of her adopted state on Facebook.

“The light and the mist look kinda cool tonight,” 62-year-old Gwen Fagerman Truax wrote next to two Turnagain Arm photos and a video posted at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Within 15 minutes, she was dead, according to the Anchorage Police Department, which reported that “just before 10:30 p.m. Anchorage police dispatch were contacted by a semi-truck driver stating they believed they had struck a pedestrian on the Seward Highway by the scales near Potter Marsh.”

The “scales” refer to a state weight station along the highway near the Chugach State Park headquarters. The photos on Truax’s Facebook page were taken in that area.

Literally minutes after these photos … she was always out there. I don’t understand,” a friend posted later.

Police say they are continuing to investigate.

“A preliminary investigation at the scene found that the semi had struck the pedestrian, however, the events leading up to the collision remain under investigation,” a press release said.

Truax (a Facebook friend of this writer) enjoyed taking photos along the Arm. She posted this one Friday evening with the comment “I like it here”:


The water and beaches along one of the state’s busiest highways were, she confessed, one of her favorite escapes.

“I know I come out here a bunch and post this same scene,” she wrote on May 17, “but between bursts of traffic you can her a beautiful birdsong, too. Great place to unwind and say a few ohms and prayers.”

RIP Gwen Fagerman Truax.





8 replies »

  1. I had really just gotten to know her, and I had liked those last pictures she posted. She was one of those people that you could get comfortable with very quickly, and feel like you had known forever. I will miss her. Prayers being said for all who knew her and will miss her.

  2. I’m Gwen’s sister and I would like to thank you for the wonderful tribute to her. We are so deeply saddened by her death and cannot even imagine her last moments, but we know she is at Peace at last. Once again, thank you all for the kind words and tribute.

    Dawn Riga

  3. I want to comment on this but can’t figure out what to say. It’s incredibly sad and bitterly ironic. The beauty of that highway has no doubt taken other lives, although we don’t know exactly what happened here. I do remember a case from about 10 or 12 years ago, an elderly couple visiting the state, driving in a rental car down the highway toward Girdwood, and moments after the woman, in the front passenger seat, spoke to a daughter or other close relative on a cellphone, expressing her appreciation for the magnificence of the landscape, the car and another (a pickup?) crashed head-on (the other driver crossed the line, if I remember it right), and the couple died instantly. It’s stunning how crazy that is, how senseless the taking of a life or lives that way. It’s infuriating. Very sorry to hear about this poor lady.

  4. This is terrible news. Never met Gwen in person, but we chatted via FB posts all the time in kind, general, respectful disagreement. Vaya con dios, Gwen. Argh.

  5. I could always count on her engaging me on FB. She was always posting great Seward Highway/Beluga Point images and videos. She lived on the hillside not too far from there. I’m going to miss her, for sure. Sad.

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