Stenehjem accident report released

BISMARCK—The Alaska Department of Public Safety has released new details about the single-vehicle accident that killed Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem on Monday.

According to the accident report, Stenehjem, 59, of Bismarck was driving northbound in a 1999 Chevrolet suburban when he crossed the center line and drove through the southbound lane and off the southbound shoulder into the ditch.

The vehicle continued northbound in the ditch, struck an embankment and rolled multiple times before coming to rest on its roof in a driveway, the report said.

Stenehjem’s passengers were his son, Robert W. Stenehjem Jr., 34; his grandson, Daniel Stenehjem, 11, and Keith Johnson, 34, of Hinckley, Minn.

Stenehjem, Stenehjem Jr. and Johnson were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision and were ejected from the vehicle, the report said.

All parties were transported to Central Peninsula Hospitalby Central Emergency Services. Stenehjem was pronounced dead at the hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained during the collision.

Johnson was reported to be in critical condition and was transported to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, the report said. Stenehjem Jr. was reported to be in stable condition with broken bones. Daniel Stenehjem was treated and released.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, the report said.  The incident remains under investigation.

On Tuesday, Bismarck-Mandan legislators draped Stenehjem’s desk in the state Senate chamber in red roses.

Stenehjem was elected to the Senate in 1992 and was selected as majority leader in 2001.

He was in Alaska on a fishing trip with his family at the time of the accident.