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Facing a world he figures will be better without him in it, George Bailey decides it’s time to end his life.

A “Pineapple Express” weather system that pushed warm, windy conditions into the Anchorage area last week played havoc on local roads, electrical grids and school activities.

Temperatures well above freezing and rain made streets across the area slick and hazardous, leading to more than 120 motor vehicle accidents over the weekend, according to Anchorage Police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.

Parker said 22 accidents involved injuries, though none were life-threatening.

“It was mainly just bumps and bruises,” Parker said.

At a busy Anchorage intersection, vehicles roll to a stop as their traffic light turns red. But one, a pickup truck, decides to push his luck, speeding through the amber light. Midway through the intersection, it looks like it’s going to make it. Suddenly, another vehicle — the driver seems to have timed the green light perfectly — enters the intersection at a high rate of speed.

Wham!

What was a normal winter afternoon turns into a very bad day for the occupants of five or six vehicles, as the collision sends automobiles flying and skidding in all directions.

Heading into hostile territory is nothing new for Brian Flanagan, a member of the Army's 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, who is about to ship out on his fourth tour of duty overseas. But this time around, leaving home will be especially tough.

"Every one has its own challenges," Flanagan said shortly before a deployment ceremony for the 3,500-member brigade at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

This time around, Flanagan will be leaving not just the safety of home, but a newborn son, 3-month-old Colin.

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