Lauren C. Smith, 03-06-06
Published: March 8, 2006
Girl drowns in fall through thin ice
A 5-year-old girl fell through river ice and drowned Monday afternoon on Nunivak
Island in the Bering Sea, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Lauren C. Smith had gone with her father, Dale Smith, to the Mekoryuk River, a couple
of miles from their home village of Mekoryuk, to get water for their house, troopers
The girl appeared to have fallen through a hole in the ice that was layered over
with thin ice, they said. The accident happened about 1 p.m.
When he saw what had happened, Smith tied a rope to his snowmachine and, with the
other end tied around his waist, jumped into the hole in an attempt to find her,
said troopers. He was unsuccessful, they said.
Volunteers from the village searched for the girl. Her body was found downriver
about 8 p.m., troopers said.
The girl's body was to be flown to Anchorage for an autopsy at the state medical
examiner's request, they said. "No foul play is suspected," troopers said in a written
Mekoryuk, which has about 190 residents, is on the north shore of Nunivak, which
is 30 miles offshore from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
-- Anchorage Daily News