Press Release- Zirkle, King, and Teams Attacked by Snowmachiner.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2016

Iditarod Trail Committee
2100 South Knik Goose Bay Road

Wasilla, Alaska 99654 907.376.5155 (voice)  907.373.6998 (facsimile)

www.iditarod.com

Zirkle, King and their teams purposefully hit by snowmachiner

Anchorage, Alaska – Early  this  morning,  as  Aliy  Zirkle  (bib  #13)  was  making  her  way   towards  the  Nulato  checkpoint,  a  snowachiner  repeatedly  attempted  to  harm  her  and   her  team.  One  dog  received  a  non-­life  threatening  injury.

Upon  arrival  at  the  Nulato  checkpoint,  Zirkle  reported  the  incident  to  race  officials  and  a   report  was  filed  with  the  Alaska  State  Troopers.  Contact  was  also  made  with  the  village   police  officer  in  Nulato.

Jeff  King  (bib  #61),  who  was  behind  Zirkle,  experienced  a  similar  incident  12-­miles  prior  to   his  arrival  at  the  Nulato  checkpoint.  This  incident  resulted  in  the  death  of  Nash,  a  three-­ year-­old  male.  In  addition,  Crosby,  a  three-­year-­old  male,  and  Banjo,  a  two-­year-­old  male,   received  non-­life  threatening  injuries.  King  requested  and  received  medical  attention  at   the  checkpoint.

The  suspect  has  been  identified  by  the  village  police  officer  in  Nulato,  and  authorities  are   conducting  an  investigation.

Regrettably,  this  incident  very  much  alters  the  race  of  the  two  mushers  competing  for  a   win;  however,  both  are  going  to  continue  on  their  way  toward  Nome.

Media contact:

Bri  Kelly,  Thompson  &  Co.  Public  Relations   Email:  media@iditarod.com

Phone:  907.903.9350

 

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Alaska State Troopers dispatch, via spokesperson Megan Peters:

AK16018057

Location: Nulato
Type: Assault

Dispatch Text:

On 03/12/16 at approximately 0243 hours, the Alaska State Troopers in Galena received a report that five miles below Koyukuk on the Yukon river, Aliy Zirkle, 46, had her dog sled hit on the side by a snow machine and the snow machine turned around multiple times and came back at her before driving off. Zirkle was not injured and one of her dogs was bruised during the incident. Zirkle had another contact with the same snow machine approximately 12 miles above Nulato. The snow machine revved up and was pointed at her and then finally left the area with no further injuries to Zirkle or her team. Another musher, Jeff King, was hit from behind by what appears to be the same snow machine approximately 12 miles above Nulato. One of of his dogs was killed in the incident and five of his dogs were injured. King reported that he was not injured. A Trooper is responding to Nulato to continue the investigation.

 

Kaiser Notes- Interesting to Note this Trail Description from the Iditarod Trail Notes Galena to Nulato:

Past Koyukuk the river runs west for five miles, heading directly for a thousand-foot ridge dead ahead, then makes a 90-degree left turn to the south to run along the base of the ridge. There is a liquor store at the northwest corner of the bend that is frequented by villagers from up and down the river. Unfortunately, you may have to watch for discarded bottles and cans and inebriated snowmachiners.

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