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Fairbanks Man Dies in Chena River

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A Fairbanks man was killed in a boating accident on the Chena River. Alaska State Troopers report that 64-year-old Christopher Hight, and 60-year-old James Fillion, also of Fairbanks, launched on the Chena’s North Fork near Mile 44 Chena Hot Springs Road Tuesday, and when they did not return as planned, a search was initiated.  

According to Troopers, the men’s boat was found pinned in a log jam about five miles up the Chena’s East Fork, and a Trooper helicopter located and picked up Fillion from a gravel bar just downstream on Wednesday.

A large-scale air, river and ground search for Hight ensued and his body was located Thursday afternoon.     

The Chena River has been running very high this week due to heavy snowmelt, a rush of water that causes dangerous sweepers and log jams