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Fairbanks

Troopers searching for man in Fairbanks area after ATV crashes into Chatanika River

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: May 26
  • Published May 26

Alaska State Troopers and other agencies are conducting a search after learning on Friday that a Fairbanks man crashed an ATV into the Chatanika River in the Fairbanks area and got swept downriver, according to a trooper dispatch.

Troopers received a report that 27-year-old Junior Leota rolled his ATV into the river, spokesman Tim DeSpain said in an email. Leota is currently missing and his family has been notified, troopers said.

The crash happened in the river at Olnes Pond, the dispatch said. Patrol troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers, along with park rangers and nearby fire and EMS teams, responded Friday, and boats and aircraft searched the river unsuccessfully, the dispatch said.

The search continued Saturday, involving boats, ATVs and aircraft as well as a ground search, troopers said. K-9 teams were also involved in the search.

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