The Latest: Snowmobile strikes Iditarod teams, kills dog

The Latest: Snowmobile strikes Iditarod teams, kills dog

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 6:09 p.m. ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The Latest on the Iditarod Sled Dog Race (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

Alaska State Troopers are traveling to the Yukon River village of Nulato (noo-LAH-toh) to investigate a snowmobiler who purposely crashed into two teams competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race early Saturday morning.

One dog was killed and at least three were injured.


Troopers were called at 2:43 a.m. about the crashes.

Spokeswoman Megan Peters says the snowmobiler first hit the side of a sled driven by 46-year-old Aliy Zirkle (AL-ee ZUR-cul) between Koyukuk (KOY'-yoo-kuk) and Nulato.

The snowmobile turned around multiples times and made passes at her before driving off.

Troopers say Zirkle was not injured, but one of her dogs was bruised.

The same snowmobile approached her again 12 miles (19.31 kilometers) from Nulato but left.

Musher Jeff King was struck by what troopers say was the same snowmobile. One of his dogs was killed.


7:33 a.m.

Officials in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race say a person on a snowmobile early Saturday morning purposely struck two teams in the race.

A dog on the team of four-time champion Jeff King was killed.

Two other dogs on King's team were injured. King received medical attention at the village of Nulato (noo-LAH-toh).

A dog on the team of Aliy Zirkle (AL-ee ZUR-cul) also received what was described as a non-life-threatening injury.

Race officials say the snowmobiler made repeated attempts to harm Zirkle and her team.

Alaska State Troopers were contacted.

Race officials say a suspect has been identified by a Nulato village police officer.

Zirkle left Nulato at 6:16 a.m. in third place. King reached Nulato at 3:25 a.m. in fifth place.