Three die in snowmachine accidents

Posted: Monday, January 15, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Three men are dead after weekend snowmobile accidents in Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Randy Larson, 30, of Minnesota, was killed about 4 p.m. Friday about 25 miles up the Salcha River, troopers said.

Larson was riding down the Salcha with his brother, Robert Larson, and friend, Michael Grant, both of Fairbanks, troopers said. Randy Larson was riding a 1995 Arctic Cat Snowmachine when he hit an ice ridge and lost control of the machine. He died at the scene.

Also killed Sunday was Joshua Oberg, 22, of Big Lake.

Oberg suffered severe head injuries when the ski of another rider's snowmachine hit him in the helmet and knocked it off, troopers said.

Oberg and other riders were riding around in a circle and jumping on two hills in a clearing northwest of Talkeetna when the accident occurred about 12:30 p.m., troopers said.

A medical evacuation helicopter was dispatched to the scene about 20 miles west of Mile 126 on the Parks Highway, but Oberg was dead when the aircraft arrived at 2:44 p.m., according to troopers.

The third victim was Rodney Morgan, who lived in the Lower Kalskag area. Troopers say he died Saturday from head injuries suffered in a crash that occurred about 8 p.m. Friday on a snow- and ice-covered road in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village. A juvenile riding with Morgan was injured. Troopers say Morgan was 19 or 20 years old.

In addition to the fatal accidents, 15-year-old Laura Jones was injured about 10 p.m. Saturday when she lost control of her machine while riding on a trail along the Sterling Highway. She veered onto the highway in front of a state Department of Transportation snowplow driven by Kenneth Simpson, 50, of Soldotna, troopers reported. The snowplow pushed Jones and her machine across the roadway and onto the shoulder. Simpson wasn't hurt.

Jones was in fair condition in Central Peninsula Hospital Monday morning.

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