2 dead in 3 Kodiak ATV crashes over Fourth of July holiday

Two people ride on an ATV toward a white pickup truck.
Riders drive an ATV along a road in Bethel. (Dean Swope/KYUK)

A Kodiak man and a teenage boy were killed over the Fourth of July holiday in separate all-terrain vehicle crashes in the island community, as a man was injured in a third crash.

According to Kodiak Police Department spokesperson Francis De La Fuente, police were told at about 6 p.m. Wednesday night of an ATV accident with a possible serious injury on the backside of Pillar Mountain. The area of the incident falls within Alaska State Troopers’ jurisdiction, and according to an online dispatch troopers found 65-year-old Lon White dead after his ATV rolled and landed on top of him.

White was a former Kodiak harbormaster, and worked with the local Ports and Harbor Department for over 35 years.

At about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, troopers were notified of a missing 13-year-old boy near the Pasagshak State Recreation Site. A search found his body pinned under his ATV, partially submerged in Lake Rose Teed off a trail north of the recreation site.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Alaska had just over 30 fatal ATV incidents from 2018 through 2020. Of the 2,448 off-highway vehicle deaths in the country during that same time period, 12% of them involved children under the age of 16.

About an hour after the boy was reported missing, troopers responded at about 2 a.m. Thursday to an overturned side-by-side ATV farther down the Pasagshak road on Surfer’s Beach.

Troopers say an injured man was found on the beach, about 500 yards away from the road, with non-life threatening injuries. The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced the unidentified man to a Kodiak-area hospital.

There were no further details provided about the man or his condition.

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