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Son of Alaska Native leader dies in SUV crash

Posted: August 29, 2013 - 12:06am

ANCHORAGE — The 29-year-old son of a longtime Alaska Native leader has died after his sport utility vehicle rolled over in Dillingham.

Trefon T. Angasan was ejected from the SUV when it crashed just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, Alaska State Troopers said.

Angasan was the son of Trefon Angasan Jr., an Anchorage-based Alutiiq leader who is chairman of Alaska Peninsula Corp., which represents five Southwest Alaska villages. The elder Angasan, originally from the village of South Naknek, also is a consultant on Native issues for the Pebble Limited Partnership, the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine.

“We’re heartbroken right now,” the victim’s half brother, Brad Angasan, said Wednesday. Funeral arrangements were being worked out, he said.

The single-vehicle crash occurred on Aleknagik Lake Road near Twin Lakes.

The SUV was traveling at high speed and partially left the road, according to troopers. The SUV came back onto the roadway and rolled several times.

Angasan, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. The SUV was demolished.

The state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage has requested an autopsy. Brad Angasan said the body was being flown to Anchorage on Wednesday.

Brad Angasan said he doesn’t know the factors involved in the accident or many details about it, only that his brother’s death was shocking and surreal. It’s the second death of a close relative for Brad Angasan since April, when his mother, Sally Nielsen, died at age 63.

His brother was the youngest of three children and was known as Trapheme and Boff. Brad Angasan, who is 41, said he has a constant vision in his mind of his brother as a chubby little baby. The two kept in regular contact through Facebook and texting.

“My dad’s very heartbroken,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking to see your parents suffer like this, especially when you have to contend with the loss of the baby of the family.”

Trefon T. Angasan, who was Alutiiq and Yup’ik Eskimo, had lived in Anchorage and Dillingham. In Anchorage, he worked for a logistics company, and in Dillingham he had worked as a carpenter and laborer, his brother said.

He moved back to Dillingham just a few weeks ago, where his mother, Dorothy Larson, lives. He also had a new girlfriend there after being single for a number of years.

“My brother was truly happy in this stage of his life,” Brad Angasan said.

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