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

Jeff King in Ruby

Jeff King was the first musher to reach the Yukon River. Photo: Zachariah Hughes, KSKA/Alaska Public Media.

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 Responses to “One Sled Dog Dead, Three Injured After Snowmachiner Collisions with Jeff King, Aliy Zirkle”

  1. Kathryn

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

  2. Martin

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

  3. Anita Hales

    “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.

  4. cindy carnes

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

  5. Lisa Thornton

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

  6. Mary Coyle

    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.

  7. Maximilien Brusselle

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

Comments are closed.

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