Snowmachiner Killed In Rear-End Collision On Denali Highway, Say Troopers

Denali Highway Is Not Maintained In Winter  DOT Cautions People Not To Use Road – But Many Do Anyway  Notice on Denali Highway, Cantwell End...

Denali Highway Is Not Maintained In Winter 

DOT Cautions People Not To Use Road – But Many Do Anyway 

Notice on Denali Highway, Cantwell End. (Photo, Country Journal, February 2018) 

This Is The Third Major Snowmachine Accident On The Denali Since November – The First To Kill A Person 

Two Prior Accidents Occurred When Snowmachines Slammed Into Dog Teams, Killing Sled Dogs 

A 70-year old Bend, Oregon man was killed on the Denali Highway when his snowmachine was rear-ended by another snowmachiner in a group, Troopers say.

The accident happened on Friday, February 16th.

Information about the accident is not clear. Troopers do not say where the group was going, what kind of group it was, and which end of the Denali Highway – Cantwell or Paxson – they drove in on. Troopers did not give the mile marker of the accident, list the number of snowmachines involved, or describe the means by which the Troopers responded – whether by air, snowmachine or wheeled vehicle. The length of time it took Troopers to respond to the scene and the estimated speed of the snowmachines was also not revealed.


Location: Denali Hwy
Type: Death Investigation / Snowmachine Collision

Dispatch Text:

On February 16, 2024 at 4:03 pm, the Alaska State Troopers received an SOS alert from a satellite communications devices from along the Denali Highway. Alaska State Troopers and Wildlife Troopers responded to the area.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a group of people were riding snowmachines along the highway. A snowmachine that was being operated by an adult male collided into the back of another snowmachine that was being operated by 70-year-old Bend, Oregon resident Glenn Cantor. The collision caused both snowmachines to leave the trail. Cantor’s snowmachine landed on top of him. Despite life saving efforts by other members of the group Cantor was declared deceased. No other injuries were reported. Cantor’s next of kin have been notified and his body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. 

Snowmachines causing deadly crashes on the Denali are an issue this winter. In November, two Iditarod dogs belonging to Dallas Seavey were killed by a snowmachiner, and seven were injured. In December, a Polaris snowmachine trainer slammed into a second sled dog team, killing two dogs, and injuring two others, one of which later died.

The Denali Highway is not maintained in the winter by the Department of Transportation, and has clear signage to that effect at both the Cantwell and Paxson ends. In the past, Paxson was a launching spot for people in snowmachines, when Paxson Lodge, which is now half-collapsed and abandoned, was in operation. The Paxson end is typically blocked with a snow berm.

The Cantwell end of the 138-mile road starts in a small settlement. There is a Trooper post in Cantwell.
Several working lodges are usually open on the Denali Highway for winter tourism.

Snowmachiners and mushers do not pay heed to cautionary signs. At the Cantwell end, this time of year, there are frequently many trucks, trailers and vans parked at the DOT's "Travel Beyond This Point Not Recommended" sign near Cantwell – left behind by owners who have gone up the highway by snowmachine, searching for a winter experience in Interior Alaska.

Snowmachiner Unloads Rig At Site Of "Travel Not Recommended" Sign Near Cantwell. (Photo, Copper River Country Journal, February 2018) 


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