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One Sled Dog Dead, Three Injured After Snowmachiner Collisions with Jeff King, Aliy Zirkle

Jeff King in Ruby

Update: hear our interview Saturday morning, above, with Jeff King in Nulato.


Breaking: Overnight, while on their way towards the Nulato checkpoint, the sled dog teams of Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King collided with a snowmachiner. Repeated, seemingly intentional collisions killed one sled dog from the team of Jeff King, a three-year-old male, Nash; three additional sled dogs (one from Zirkle’s team, two from King’s) received non-life-threatening injuries.

The full press release from the Iditarod Trail Committee (issued Saturday morning, March 12) follows below:

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.

Emily Schwing contributed to this story.

13 Comments

  1. Kathryn on March 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for sharing this interview. Our thoughts are with Jeff, Aliy, and all the teams and event organizers.



  2. maria villalobos on March 12, 2016 at 11:20 am

    so sorry I hope they arrest whoever do this



  3. Martin on March 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    This world is becoming a bad place to live in. People just do not care about other people anymore.



  4. […] When Aliy Zirkle sped through Kaltag, she refused to answer questions about an incident that involved a snow machine attack on the Yukon River overnight. […]



  5. […] mph, never slowed down. His sleet appurtenance cowling flew off, and he was gone,” King told KNOM open radio. “It unequivocally felt like forward brag and personification […]



  6. […] to a statement from the Iditarod Trail Committee obtained by Western Alaska radio station KNOM, the suspected snowmobile driver “has been identified by the village police officer in […]



  7. Anita Hales on March 13, 2016 at 9:17 am

    “seemingly”??? Really? I’d say it was pretty much a no-brainer that they were attacked and on purpose. Maybe the guy was drunk but he attacked them nevertheless.



  8. cindy carnes on March 13, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Very sad day! As I understand he was drunk…and killed a dog. He was arrested.



  9. Lisa Thornton on March 13, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about this and your dogs. They are your family. Good luck to you in the race.



  10. Mary Coyle on March 14, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Jeff,I got to meet you and your dogs last year at your ranch and could see your love for your dogs. The other dogs will run with all the love they have for you and you will make it with them. Keep running….prayers are with you and your team.



  11. […] to a statement from the Iditarod Trail Committee obtained by Western Alaska radio station KNOM, the suspected snowmobile driver “has been identified by the village police officer in […]



  12. Maximilien Brusselle on March 16, 2016 at 6:53 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss Jeff and Aliy I hope you win the next 2017 Iditarod.⛄️



  13. […] this may have been one of the toughest races of King’s career. Five days in, a drunk snowmachine driver plowed into his team while he was travelling down the Yukon… One of his dogs was killed. Three others were […]