• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Injured musher, dogs recovering after being struck by car in Willow

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: John Thain - 7:14 PM November 26, 2014

Willow, Alaska, is musher country, a place where residents joke that there are more dogs than people.

Sled dog trails weave through the trees right up against the Parks Highway.

Four-time Iditarod finisher Karin Hendrickson is familiar with the curve near mile marker 91. It’s where she and her sled dog team were struck by a vehicle Tuesday night.

“She and the team were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Hendrickson’s friend, Jennifer Hawks.

Around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Hendrickson was exercising a 14-dog team. The adverse weather resulted in poor road conditions, and a car veered off the road and hit them. Troopers are still investigating the crash.

“See how the tires go right into the water right there,” Hawks explained at the scene, a day after the crash.

Hendrickson was taken to the hospital with a broken back and broken leg. Mushers from around the community spent the night rounding up her dogs. Thanks to their efforts, all the dogs were found and brought home.

Handler Maliko Ubl is still monitoring the dogs for injuries.

“I just want to watch them move around,” said Ubl, focusing on one of the dogs. “Like whack-a-mole right now, I don’t see any limping. I don’t see any unevenness in his step. He looks really, really good.”

While friends worry about Hendrickson, the musher is worried about her dogs.

“We kind of chatted a little bit this morning and that was her main concern, ‘How are the dogs doing?’ Uble said. “We’re both just so amazed that these two guys are all that had injuries.”

The 2015 Iditarod would have been Hendrickson’s seventh, but that will have to wait. Friends say that perhaps the most important thing is that she is alive. And so are her dogs, waiting for her to come home.

Hendrickson has requested that people donate to the dogs instead of sending flowers or candy to her in the hospital, as she’ll need help meeting their needs while she recovers.

Editor’s note: The video portion of this story incorrectly says Hendrickson completed the Iditarod six times. She has finished four times. 

Latest Stories

  • News

    Training the next generation of TAPS workers

    by Emily Carlson on Jun 23, 10:57

    Alaska kids can’t escape childhood without a tale or two about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Eirik Henry heard the stories. He knew he was going to be a welder before he could walk. “I think it’s a lot of fun to put something together that someone else can’t.” Henry says he may not have understood the […]

  • News

    Flint airport stabbing suspect tried to buy gun in U.S., FBI says

    by CBS News on Jun 23, 10:41

    DETROIT — The man suspected of stabbing an officer at a Michigan airport Wednesday unsuccessfully tried to buy a gun in the U.S. before the attack, but he did buy a knife here, the FBI said on Thursday. David Gelios, head of the FBI in Detroit, made the disclosure at a news conference. He did […]

  • Light shines bright on annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game

    by Dave Leval on Jun 23, 6:44

    Eager fans celebrate as they enter Growden Park in Fairbanks. Others wait to enter the historic stadium on an atypical game night. It’s the Midnight Sun Game, the 112th edition. That draws plenty of first-time fans to the ballpark, including, South Dakota’s Jason Roberts. “I heard it’s the place to be! Why not take in a […]

  • News

    Alaskan senators react to health care bill

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 23, 6:28

    Alaska’s senators have yet to take a stand on the health care bill saying they need more time to read through it. Senator Lisa Murkowski released a statement saying, “I remain committed to ensuring that all Alaskans have access to affordable, quality health care and will vet this bill through that lens.” One thing Murkowski […]

  • Two of three Mat-Su Senators now in the minority

    by Liz Raines on Jun 22, 21:11

    In an unexpected move Thursday evening, Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) voted against a compromise budget bill put forward by the operating budget conference committee. Voting for the budget is a requirement for remaining in the Republican-led Majority caucus. Hughes now becomes the second Matsu Senator this year to leave the Majority. In April, Sen. Mike […]

  • Lifestyle

    3 key things to know about the Senate health care bill

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 18:36

    The Senate’s health insurance bill is finally available for scrutiny. While Washington watchers analyze its chances for passage, let’s take a look at the consequences for consumers. Here’s what you should keep an eye on as the bill moves forward toward inevitable tweaks and an expected vote next week. Subsidies. The Senate bill has edged […]

  • News

    UA system takes $8M cut in proposed agreement

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 22, 17:46

    The University of Alaska Board of Regents is moving forward after the legislature announced a funding agreement for the university system. The House and Senate agreed to a $317 million budget for the university and the regents voted to approve it. It’s a cut of $8 million, less than the regents asked for, but also […]

  • News

    Investigators probing if Trump campaign got info from Russian hacks

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 17:04

    CBS News has confirmed that congressional investigators are interested in whether Trump campaign associates obtained information from hacked voter databases. A source indicated it is still early on in the process of scrutinizing the issue, but the House Intelligence Committee is said to be scrutinizing relevant documents to see if there is a connection. TIME […]