Eric J. Zehnder 2011-03-20
Kimber L. Velasquez

Two snowmachiners killed in crash

By LISA DEMER,, March 20th, 2011

Two snowmachiners riding in the Petersville area near Talkeenta were killed early today after the machine went over a steep embankment and they flew off it into some trees, Alaska State Troopers report.

Troopers identified them as Wasilla residents Eric J. Zehnder, 23, and Kimber L. Velasquez, 22.

They were on a 2007 Ski-Doo Summit 800 riding from a cabin to the Kroto Creek parking lot. At around mile 17 of Petersville Road, the snowmachine left the main trail area. Zehnder and Velasquez were ejected and struck several trees, troopers said.

Troopers were notified around 1:26 a.m. that there had been a crash and CPR was in progress. Troopers and medics from Willow and Talkeetna got to the scene on a LifeMed helicopter and snowmobile. Zehnder and Velasquez were pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m.

Both appear to have been wearing their helmets. Alcohol appears to have been a factor, troopers said.

Reach Lisa Demer at or 257-4390.