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Alakanuk Man Dies After Being Found on Frozen River

By Matthew F Smith, Digital Producer, msmith@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 17 2014 08:58:30 PM AKST
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 03:42:00 PM AKST
Frozen Yukon

CREATIVE COMMONS / Fairbanks Mike

ANCHORAGE -

An Alakanuk man is dead after being found lying on the snow and ice near his home, only to suffer an apparent heart attack while warming up.

Alaska State Troopers were notified Thursday morning of the man’s death in the small southwest community of about 650 along the Yukon River.

Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said Ernest Hanson, 50, was found by another member of the community lying in the snow and ice on the Yukon near his home.

Hanson was reported to be semi-conscious and responsive when others brought him home to warm up. Not long after being taken home, Hanson began complaining of chest pains as he warmed.

Troopers report Hanson then apparently went into cardiac arrest. Peters said it’s “in dispute” that he warmed up too fast, but she said it will be up to the medical examiners to make the determination of cause of death.

Peters said alcohol was suspected as a factor, as Hanson had been seen drinking previously on Thursday.

A ground blizzard delayed Troopers getting to the scene, Peters said. By the time they received the call, Hanson had already died.

Hanson’s body is being sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.