SW Alaska hunter died when snowmachine hit riverbank

Michelle Theriault Boots

A Pitkas Point man who died on a hunting trip in Southwest Alaska Saturday slammed into a riverbank on his snowmachine, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

The man, identified as 37-year-old Darrell Hunt of Pitkas Point, was on a caribou hunting trip with two friends Saturday, said AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

The three men were about 52 miles up the Andreafsky River when Hunt apparently missed a curve in the trail and slammed into a cutbank of the river, Ipsen said. He was not wearing a helmet.

The two friends estimated Hunt was traveling 40 to 45 mph, she said.

Hunt was riding a 2013 Skidoo Renegade 600 snowmachine, which was not heavily damaged in the accident, according to troopers.

The friends, who are brothers, tried giving Hunt CPR, Ipsen said. When they couldn't revive him they wrapped his body in a tarp and used a sled attached to one of the snowmachines to bring it to St. Marys.

The men told troopers they had stopped to drink alcohol on their way up the river but it was unclear whether that was a contributing factor in the accident, Ipsen said.

Hunt's cause of death has not been released yet, pending an autopsy.

Saint Marys is 450 miles northwest of Anchorage, near the smaller village of Pitkas Point.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.