ANCHORAGE, Alaska—An Aniak man faces manslaughter and DUI charges in the death of a 15-year-old boy during a Thursday night snowmachine crash, according to Alaska State Troopers.
A Friday AST dispatch says 26-year-old Philip Simeon told troopers in Aniak just before 9:45 p.m. about the crash, which occurred near the west end of the runway at the Aniak State Airport. An Alaska Wildlife Trooper and members of the Aniak Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.
According to AST spokesperson Megan Peters, the impact force of Simeon’s snowmachine was sufficient to tear the handlebars off the parked vehicle. Troopers aren’t yet certain whether the boys were struck by Simeon’s snowmachine, the handlebars or both.
While one of the 15-year-olds suffered minor injuries in the crash, Peters says the other boy, Dakota Nicholi, took a turn for the worse at the Aniak Sub-Regional Clinic and died soon after his arrival. The nature of the injury that killed Nicholi isn’t clear, and his body will undergo an autopsy at the state medical examiner’s office.
“We don’t know how he was impacted -- it wasn’t obvious,” Peters said.
Peters says troopers haven’t determined whether the boys were snowmachining with Simeon prior to the crash, but says that they did know him. She also says Simeon has aided troopers in their investigation.
“He’s been cooperating; he provided breath samples and a blood draw,” Peters said.
After the crash, Simeon was determined to be intoxicated. He was arrested on charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault and DUI, and was slated to be taken to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel Friday.