The Latest: Mushers press closer to the Iditarod finish line
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The Latest on the Iditarod Sled Dog Race (all times local):
Mushers are pressing their dog sled teams closer to the finish line in Alaska's famous Iditarod after authorities say a snowmobiler intentionally rammed into two top competitors, killing one dog and injuring others.
Experts say the crash wasn't the first encounter between teams and snowmobiles, but they're rare. It's just one of the perils of the 1,000-mile race, which covers long stretches of unforgiving terrain.
Besides blinding snow and ripping winds, mushers also contend with fatigue, brutal cold and the occasional encounter with wildlife, such as moose.
A 26-year-old man arrested in the crash Saturday is accused of intentionally driving a snowmobile into the team of Aliy Zirkle and then the team of four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King. One of King's dogs died and at least two others were injured.
Defending champion Dallas Seavey is leading in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, gunning for his fourth win in the nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) contest, with his father the closest rival.
The younger Seavey left the checkpoint at the coastal village of Shaktoolik, 171 miles (275.19 kilometers) from the Nome finish line, mid-Sunday morning. As of late morning, his father, Mitch Seavey, was the only other musher to reach the village.
Meanwhile, a 26-year-old man was set to appear in court Sunday afternoon following his arrest Saturday on allegations he intentionally drove a snowmobile into the teams of two other top mushers, killing one dog and injuring at least two other dogs. Arnold Demoski of the checkpoint village of Nulato (noo-LAH-toh) has said he was returning home from a night of drinking when he struck the teams.
The incident prompted the Nulato Tribal Council to issue a statement Saturday, saying it was ''disturbed and saddened'' by the incident and offering condolences to the mushers.