The Arctic Sounder

Snowmachiner dies in Selawik over the weekend

A 23-year-old Selawik snowmachiner died this weekend when his vehicle ran out of gas, officials said.

Alaska State Troopers received a report on Nov. 12 afternoon that Chad Ticket left a relative’s house around 6 a.m. and was overdue, according to an online troopers’ report. Search teams found Ticket dead at 5 p.m., about 2 miles from Selawik along a snowmachine trail, the report said.

Preliminary investigation showed that Ticket likely ran out of fuel and walked away from his snowmachine, said troopers’ spokesman Austin McDaniel.

No foul play was suspected. Ticket’s next of kin were notified, troopers said, and his body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.

The overnight temperatures in the area were between zero and 5 degrees, said National Weather Service meteorologist Erin Billings.

“The winds were 10 miles an hour or less, and there was some snow in the area,” Billings said. “There’s probably some fog with that snow out there too, so the visibility at times was less than a mile.”

Kirk Oviok, President of the Search and Rescue team in Selawik who went out looking for Ticket said the conditions were stormy. He said that with patches of open water and thin snow cover, the ice conditions around Selawik are still dangerous for snowmachine travel. To riders who do go out, he recommended taking all possible safety precautions.


“Make sure you are on the trail,” he said. “Make sure that you know where you’re going, especially on the stormy, stormy weather. Make sure you don’t go out alone, make sure your family members know where you’re at, and that your phone is all charged up.”

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Alena Naiden

Alena Naiden writes about communities in the North Slope and Northwest Arctic regions for the Arctic Sounder and ADN. Previously, she worked at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.