Joseph Delkittie, 11-27-06

Kokhanok man discovered dead after crash of four-wheeler in water

Published: November 29, 2006

ILIAMNA LAKE -- A 53-year-old man who had been riding a four-wheeler along the shore-side ice of Iliamna Lake was found dead in the water Monday morning, Alaska State Troopers reported.

Joseph Delkittie and Chad Rawls, 24, both of Kokhanok, had been skirting the ice on the four-wheeler when they crashed into the water about 4 a.m. near Kokhanok Point, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Kokhanok, a Yup'ik and Alutiiq village of 179, is on the southern shore of the lake, 227 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The two men tried unsuccessfully to drag the four-wheeler to dry ground. Rawls ran to get help from the village. When Rawls returned, he found Delkittie floating dead in the lake, Wilkinson said.

"Speculation is Delkittie had continued solo to get the four-wheeler out of the water and slipped and fell," Wilkinson said.

Troopers don't know if Delkittie died of hypothermia or drowned, Wilkinson said.

-- Anchorage Daily News