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Sled Dogs Killed in Alaska Snowmachine Crash


Three dogs were killed and a fourth was injured after a snowmachine collided with a sled dog team on the Denali Highway in Alaska, reported Alaska’s News Source. Following the crash, the snowmachine driver “stopped to render aid,” as per Alaska State Troopers. Later, authorities reached out to him, but they are yet to make any arrests in the case.

Veteran musher heartbroken after sled dogs killed in accident

According to a Facebook post by Mike Parker, who was driving the sled dog team at the time, the canines belonged to veteran musher Jim Lanier. Parker described the incident as “an unspeakable tragedy” and shared, “myself, Jim, our families and the mushing community are mourning the loss of these wonderful animals.”

As per the post, John Lennon, a 4-year-old male dog, “died on impact,” while Buttercup, a 7-year-old female, and Solo, a 3-year-old female, died in his arms. The fourth dog, Kitkat, who’s seven years old, “suffered a fractured femur and other injuries.” She is currently in stable condition and will undergo surgery.

“Words cannot describe how important and meaningful these animals are to me and the Laniers,” Parker added. He further described the canines as “sweet gentle and full of personality.”

Continuing, he shared, “They truly embodied the Alaskan spirit and will live on through their teammates and in my heart.” Parker concluded the post by saying that he and Lanier tried their best “to save the dogs and are optimistic that KitKat will recover and live a long life with us.”

As per Alaska’s News Source, state troopers stated that the man involved in the accident was testing snowmachines for the automotive manufacturing company Polaris. They also noted that alcohol did not seem to have contributed to the crash.

Second sled dog crash in less than a month

Last month, another snowmachine struck a sled dog team in Alaska, killing two dogs and injuring three. 28-year-old Austin Gibbs received a citation for negligent driving for his involvement in the crash. Gibbs was operating one of four snowmachines driving on the Denali Highway.

The canines were from noted musher Dallas Seavey’s kennel. Seavey was not operating the sled dogs at the time. The injured dogs later underwent surgeries, with one of them having his leg amputated.


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