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Three ATV incidents in Kodiak during Fourth of July, two of them end in death

Dean Swope
Alaska residents drive their ATVS on a main road in Bethel

Many Kodiak residents may have heard wailing sirens on the evening of July 3 into the early morning of July Fourth, as emergency responders were called to three separate ATV accidents.

According to a public information officer with the Kodiak Police Department, Francis De La Fuente, around 6 p.m. on Wednesday night the department received a report of an ATV accident with a possible serious injury on the backside of Pillar Mountain. The area of the incident falls within Alaska State Trooper’s jurisdiction, so they were the leading agency.
Upon arriving on scene, Troopers said they found 65-year-old Lon White of Kodiak deceased 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.

Hours later Alaska State Troopers were notified of another fatal, but unrelated ATV accident. Troopers said around 12:30 a.m. on July 4 a 13-year-old child was reported missing near Pasagshak. The child was riding an ATV on his own and was found later that morning pinned underneath his ATV. He was partially submerged in Lake Rose Teed, north of Pasagshak State Recreation site, off of a nearby trail.

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 – 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.

Further down the Pasagshak road, on Surfer’s Beach, Troopers responded to an overturned side-by-side after 2 a.m. that same morning, July 4.

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 medevac’d the unidentified man to the Kodiak area hospital on July 4.

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