Small Pond At Bottom Of Long Lake Hill Is More Dangerous Than It Looks

Wooden Handmade Crosses On Trees Mark Deadly Pond At Bottom Of Hill   Valdez Woman & Two Children Died Here  ...And This Weekend A Blue ...

Wooden Handmade Crosses On Trees Mark Deadly Pond At Bottom Of Hill  

Valdez Woman & Two Children Died Here 
...And This Weekend A Blue Pickup Crashed Into The Pond 

Blue pickup in middle of pond at Long Lake Hill, near crosses. (Journal photo) 

The poignant sight of three painted wooden crosses nailed to a tree on the other side of a small pond at the bottom of Long Lake Hill has marked a terrible tragedy for the past decade. This weekend, a pickup showed how dangerous that little pond is, when the vehicle ended up in the same water – not 40 feet from the crosses. 

On the afternoon of November 4th, 2011, a young 28-year old Valdez mother, Leah Thompson, lost control of her SUV and drove into the shallow pond at the bottom of Long Lake Hill. 

It's a small pond – and seems harmless. But Leah and her two children, Avery, 5 and Trinity, 7, all died. Their vehicle had turned upside down and was partially underwater. 

For local people who were aware of the disaster, that pond has seemed an incongruous place to perish. 

Then, this weekend, Saturday, June 12th, 2021, people driving by the pond noticed a blue pickup there – submerged in the water. 

Motorcyclists, truck drivers and others – unable to tell if the incident had been attended to, or if somebody was still inside the pickup – kept calling 911. There were no orange ribbons on the vehicle, to signify that this was an "old" incident. On the phone, Trooper dispatch said it had been taken care of. 

Even after that first tragic accident, there were no guardrails or markers installed near the pond. 

Long Lake Hill is clearly deadly. Everybody knows about its  falling boulders and 400 foot deep drop-offs. But the pond seems innocuous and hardly noticeable. Except for the crosses, standing vigil. 


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