Eielson Officer Dies in Collision With Support Vehicle on Bicycling Road Trip to Central

Aug 5, 2020

A 37-year-old Eielson Air Force Base officer died over the weekend of injuries he sustained when a vehicle struck him as he was riding a bicycle on the Steese Highway near Central.

Eielson officials said this morning that Major Michael Gentry was hit around 6 a.m. Saturday near milepost 125 of the Steese. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release base issued by base officials Monday morning.

Maj. Michael "Cal" Gentry, commander of the 354th Contracting Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base.
Credit Eielson AFB

Gentry was commander of Eielson’s 354th Contracting Squadron.

The pickup that struck him also hit another bicyclist, who was accompanying Gentry on a bike ride to Central. The other victim was medivacked by emergency responders from Fort Wainwright to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

According to Alaska State Troopers, the pickup that struck the two victims was driven by a person who was riding with the other bicyclists. A Trooper report says the three were taking turns riding the bikes and driving the support vehicle. The report says the driver of the truck during the early morning collision inadvertently struck the bicyclists.

Troopers are withholding the name of the driver while their investigation continues. The agency is working with Eielson officials on the case.