Seward Highway Closed Down As Authorities Searched for Suspect Monday

At approximately 8 am on Monday morning, troopers received a REDDI (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately) on a pickup truck near Portage south of Girdwood. The caller reported that the pickup was driving erratically, and also reported that the driver “had wrecked at more than one location along the highway, south of Girdwood.”

Nine minutes later, ASST began receiving 911 calls reporting that a man, with a handgun and hammer,  was threatening people along the roadway and firing off rounds.

When troopers arrived on-scene, they found that a pickup had wrecked near mile 76 of the Seward Highway. They also discovered that the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as 37-year-old Nathaniel R. Smith, of Anchorage, had fled into the woods.

The highway was immediately shut down and “SERT personnel from both Soldotna and Palmer responded along with AST patrol, AWT, APD, and Whittier PD to establish a perimeter,” the trooper dispatch reported.


Once troopers were able to ascertain Smith’s cell number, they called and made contact with Smith. When speaking with Smith, they found that he was wet and cold, and lost in the woods. Troopers guided Smith back to the roadway, once there, he was promptly arrested, and charged with four counts of Assault III, Misconduct Involving Weapons IV, Criminal Mischief IV, and Reckless Driving. 

Because he was involved in a wreck, and also exposed to cold temperatures, Smith was transported to the hospital for evaluation prior to being remanded to Anchorage Jail.

No one reported any injuries in the incident.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation took over the case responsibility.