Early this morning, as Aliy Zirkle (bib #13) was making her way towards the Nulato checkpoint, a snowachiner repeatedly attempted to harm her and her team. One dog received a non-life threatening injury.
Upon arrival at the Nulato checkpoint, Zirkle reported the incident to race officials and a report was filed with the Alaska State Troopers. Contact was also made with the village police officer in Nulato.
Jeff King (bib #61), who was behind Zirkle, experienced a similar incident 12-miles prior to his arrival at the Nulato checkpoint. This incident resulted in the death of Nash, a three- year-old male. In addition, Crosby, a three-year-old male, and Banjo, a two-year-old male, received non-life threatening injuries. King requested and received medical attention at the checkpoint.
The suspect has been identified by the village police officer in Nulato, and authorities are conducting an investigation.
Regrettably, this incident very much alters the race of the two mushers competing for a win; however, both are going to continue on their way toward Nome.
I can't begin to express my disgust for anyone who would deliberately ride over a dog, especially one in the traces, who can't get away.