Aniak man drowns in Kuskokwim River

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 20-year-old Aniak man drowned over the weekend when his uncle drove a snowmachine into the Kuskokwim River, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

Jesse Nick drowned in the mishap that occurred about 2 p.m. Saturday three miles upriver from Akiachuk, said Sgt. Dan Donaldson.

The uncle, Evan Nick, 30, and passenger Alexie Morris Jr., 28, of Bethel were on the snowmachine, towing Jesse Nick on a wooden sled. They were traveling from Bethel to Aniak.

Shortly before the accident, an Akiachuk fisherman warned the three not to continue in that direction because of dangerous river ice conditions, Donaldson said. But the men, who were intoxicated, continued until the snowmachine drove into an open lead on the ice, Donaldson said.

Morris and Evan Nick managed to pull themselves out of the water.

On Sunday a team of volunteers searched the area and found Jesse Nick's body shortly after 3 p.m.

Evan Nick has been charged with second-degree murder, driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, Donaldson said. Nick also was charged with weapons misconduct for carrying a .223-caliber rifle, Donaldson said.

Nick was arraigned Sunday and is being held in Bethel on $25,000 bail, Donaldson said.

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