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Update: The deceased are identified as Jan Westlake, 36 of Noatak, Amber Westlake, 31 of Noatak, and Alexandria Howarth, 11 of Noatak. Next of kin for the three people have been notified.
On 4-15-19 Kotzebue AST received a call at 0108 hours from the Search and Rescue Coordinator in Noatak reporting two snow machines with several travelers had fallen through the ice. One of the travelers was able to get to Noatak and summon SAR help. One person was reported deceased and two people were reported to be unaccounted for. SAR volunteers responded to the location and found one of the persons reported as unaccounted for still alive. The person was taken to the Noatak Clinic and was medevacked to Kotzebue in serious condition. It was later reported that the person transported died at the hospital in Kotzebue. At around 0344 hours the other unaccounted for person was located deceased by SAR volunteers.
Troopers with AST and AWT responded to the community and are working on the investigation into the incident. The names of the deceased will be released after confirmation that the next of kin for the involved individuals has been notified.
Posted on 4/15/2019 2:13:07 PM by DPS\mapeters