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Condition of Fort Wainwright Soldier Injured in Wreck Improves; No Charges Filed

A 20-year-old Fort Wainwright soldier who was badly injured nearly two weeks ago after being hit by a truck in Salcha is doing a bit better.

Army Spec. Zachary New is showing some progress at an Anchorage hospital, where he’s being treated for life-threatening injuries he sustained Jan. 29 when he was hit by a truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer loaded with logs along a slick stretch of the Richardson Highway.
A Providence Alaska Medical Center spokesperson said Sunday that New is now listed in serious condition, a bit of an upgrade to the critical condition he was in for several days after being struck by the truck in the parking lot of the Midway Lodge.
20-year-old Forrest Hermanns, of Tok, who was driving the log truck, has not been charged with any offense related to the wreck, according to online court records. Alaska State Troopers are continuing their investigation into the incident.
New was hit by the truck while he and several other Stryker Brigade soldiers had pulled over into the Midway parking lot to take a break during a convoy from Fort Wainwright to the Donnelly Training Area at Fort Greely.
Troopers say the log truck driven by Hermanns rear-ended a Humvee that was turning into the parking lot. His truck and trailer then entered the parking lot, apparently unable to stop, and struck New as he was getting out of a parked Humvee. Hermanns’ rig then collided with two Stryker armored vehicles that also were in the parking lot.
No one else was injured.
Troopers say the road was extremely icy, and that there’s no indication that alcohol or other drugs were involved.