Arnold Demoski told the Alaska Dispatch News he was "blackout drunk" when he struck the Iditarod teams of Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King early Saturday morning. A 3-year-old dog on King's team was killed and two other dogs were injured.
Demoski spoke with the ADN on Saturday before being arrested and transported by plane to Fairbanks. He will be arraigned on multiple charges -- including second-degree assault and reckless endangerment -- at 1:30 p.m. local time Sunday.
Demoski said he had been partying with friends in the upriver village of Koyukuk, about 22 miles northeast of Nulato. He was returning home when the accident happened. He believes he hit the dog teams from behind and could not see the mushers' head lamps.
He said when he woke up Saturday morning he heard what had happened, went to check on his snowmachine and saw the front panel missing. He said he called the village police officer right away and said he would cooperate with troopers.
Demonski added he hoped the mushers will forgive him and thought he may have turned around out of concern.
King said his dog Nash -- of a four-dog litter with names Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young -- was killed nearly instantly in the attack. "I don't know how (the snowmachiner) could have not known I was there," King told ADN. "I think I was more of a target."
The harrowing scene was reported to officials and police upon Zirkle's and King's arrivals in Nulato. Both Zirkle and King plan to continue their 2016 Iditarod run, despite the tragedy and the injuries sustained. Zirkle is currently in third place.
The Iditarod Trail committee has issued the following statement Saturday morning:
Reports from the scene were terrible:
Breaking: snowmobiler attacks / tries to kill 2 mushers on #Iditarod trail, Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle. 1 dog dead, 2 injured.— Blair Braverman (@BlairBraverman) March 12, 2016
Attacker turned around three times to try to run Aliy over. She defended herself with a trail marker. #Iditarod— Blair Braverman (@BlairBraverman) March 12, 2016
Updated 11 p.m. Saturday.