- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - At least two vehicles recently sank into the Chena River on a section long used as an ice-covered shortcut between Airport Way and Chena Small Tracts Road.

Bob Weaver, the owner of Ron’s Towing, said a rented SUV driven by an out-of-state motorist sank Dec. 15 after making a left turn onto the river from Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. No one was hurt.

The tow company was being followed by a camera crew, but Weaver told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (https://bit.ly/1raRFKG ) the incident was not staged.

Alaska State Troopers helped rescue the driver of another vehicle on Tuesday. Sgt. Brian Wassmann said two troopers found a 20-year-old woman standing on the roof of the vehicle and helped her to shore. A dog trapped in the vehicle died.

Mitch Osborne, an ice diver who helped recover that vehicle, said he is typically called to help recover two or three cars vehicles each winter in that area.

The ice-covered river between Airport Road and Chena Small Tracts is not a state designated road. The boat launch at Pike’s Landing is one place used to access the river. But Pike’s Landing owner Jay Ramras said the archway above the boat launch with the words “ice bridge” is a piece of artwork - a replica of the Santa Monica, California, pier sign - and not intended to be a direction or to endorse driving on the river.

He said his business tries to discourage people from driving on the river by putting up a snow berm in the spring. Orange caution cones stood around the boat launch this past week.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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