Two snowmachiners die on weekend rides

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two snowmachiners died over the weekend in separate incidents. That brings the number of fatalities associated with snowmobiles in Alaska to 12, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Kenneth Harvey, 33, of Fairbanks, was killed when he went off a trail while riding north of the city Saturday, troopers said.

Gabriel Olympic, 61, of Iliamna succumbed to hypothermia Saturday while trying to reach New Stuyahok for a winter carnival there.

His wife, Katie, who is 62, was also on the machine, but she survived the ordeal. She was flown to the Dillingham hospital and is expected to recover, according to troopers.

The couple left Iliamna Thursday for the trip to New Stuyahok, about a hundred mile away on the Nushagak River.

They were reported overdue and a search was launched Saturday morning.

Ground searchers located the pair about noon on Saturday. They were 22 miles southeast of New Stuyahok.

Katie Olympic was taken by private airplane to Dillingham. Gabe Olympic was transported to the clinic in New Stuyahok. He was declared dead there.

Harvey, the Fairbanks man, was snowmachining with David Simmons, 35, about four miles up a trail that runs from Olnes Pond, according to trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Simmons notified authorities about the crash shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. Harvey was pronounced dead at the scene.

Olnes Pond is about eleven miles up the Elliott Highway from Fairbanks.

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