FAIRBANKS - A snowmachine racer from North Pole who died in a snowmachine race struck a guardrail on the Haines Highway, according to Canadian authorities.
Jeff Peede, 38, died over the weekend a short distance into the Alcan 200 Road Rally.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said he is the first fatality in the history of the race, which has been run for 40 years.
Peede was killed after smashing into the guardrail near Three Guardsman Pass.
The 176-mile race involves about 40 competitors from Alaska and Canada who ride a course that follows the highway, which is temporarily closed to other traffic during the race. Racers start at 42 Mile, travel to Dezadeash Lake in the Yukon Territory and return to the start.
Race director Dan Hanson said the average speed is more than 100 mph.
Peede had competed in the race about 10 times. Hanson said road conditions were icy but no more so than any other year. He added that there was a little more snow this year than usual.
Hanson said the winners of the road rally, including Craig Hill and Colby Hill of Fairbanks, donated their cash prizes, totaling about $18,000, to Peede’s family.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police declined to release further information about the crash pending the ongoing investigation. Alaska State Troopers and the Haines Police Department are also involved.