Mat-Su

2 confirmed dead after recovery of pickup from Matanuska River

Update, 11:30 a.m. Monday: Alaska State Troopers identified the people found dead inside the vehicle as 31-year-old Clayton McManis and 26-year-old Kaitlin Ogden, both of Chugiak.

Original story:

Authorities on Saturday confirmed that two people died after a pickup drove off the Glenn Highway and into the Matanuska River a day earlier, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The 1995 Toyota Tacoma was pulled out of the river around 6 p.m. Saturday after search and recovery efforts were unsuccessful Friday evening, troopers said in an online report.

An investigation at the scene indicated that the southbound vehicle had driven off the highway, down an embankment and into the river, missing the bridge’s cement, cable and steel barriers, troopers said.

A male and a female were in the truck, troopers said. Initial reports indicated that three people were believed to be in the truck, but upon its recovery, “there was no evidence to suggest that a third person was in the vehicle,” troopers said Saturday.

The identities of the deceased will be released after next of kin have been notified, according to troopers.

Mat-Su Borough Dive Rescue was unable to safely recover the vehicle Friday, in part due to the river’s swift current and poor visibility, troopers said.

Recovery efforts resumed Saturday afternoon involving Mat-Su Dive Rescue, Elite Towing, Matanuska Towing and Recovery, Vulcan Towing and Terrasond, troopers said.

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