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Fairbanks pedestrian hit on New Year's Eve dies

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Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 12:15 am | Updated: 4:08 pm, Sat Jan 4, 2014.

FAIRBANKS — A pedestrian who was hit by two cars while crossing the Old Steese Highway on New Year's Eve has died from his injuries, according to Fairbanks police.

Sam Kanayurak Jr., 57, was medevaced to Anchorage with life-threatening injuries after being struck while attempting to cross the road soon after midnight between the Rock N Rodeo and the Arctic Bar. He died on Thursday at Alaska Native Medical Center, where he was transported in critical condition following the crashes, said Sgt. Robert Thompson.

Police say Kanayurak was hit by a Toyota Yaris driving southbound on the Old Steese, rolled off the windshield, then was hit by a Jeep Liberty in the other lane. It appears Kanayurak, whose birthday was on New Year's Eve, was intoxicated, police said after the accident.

Sobriety tests at the scene determined neither the 18-year-old man driving the Toyota nor the 30-year-old woman in the Jeep were impaired. No charges have been filed in the incident and it remains an open investigation, Thompson said.

Fairbanks police officers were on scene at the Rock N Rodeo handling another investigation when the accident occurred at 12:28 a.m. A crowd of people outside the bar reportedly witnessed the accident, though officers did not.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518.

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