Sunday, March 13, 2016

Local Community Snowmobile Slams into Iditarod Teams, Killing One Dog & Injuring Others

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race — Alaska's “Last Great Race” — was reeling in the wake of a suspected snowmobile assault on two dog teams along a remote section of the Yukon River that left one dog dead and two others seriously injured.

Alaska State Troopers said Saturday they had caught the snowmobiler responsible. They charged 26-year-old Arnold Demoski of Nulato, a community of about 350 people, with assault, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and criminal mischief after the incidents that left mushers Jeff King of Denali Park and Aliy Zirkle of Fairbanks badly shaken.

Both mushers said they believed Demoski, who has a history of assault, intentionally tried to run them down on the trail in the dark of night.

The Iditarod has witnessed dog deaths before after snowmobiles, or snow machines as they are commonly called in Alaska, accidentally veered into teams, but never a willful assault.

Some residents of Nulato speculated that Demoski might simply have been trying to scare the mushers and then ran into them accidentally.

In a taped interview with Anchorage television station KTUU, Demoski denied any intent to harm anyone.

“It not was intentional,” he said. “That's not me. I don't do stuff like that.”

Details here

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