ATV accident claims life of Kokhanok man Saturday

Apr 24, 2017

William G. Wassillie, 53, crashed Saturday after hitting a pressure crack on Iliamna Lake. His body was spotted by an air taxi Sunday, and retrieved by an AWT helo from King Salmon.

William G. Wassillie, 53, of Kokhanok, was killed when his ATV crashed about seven miles south of Iliamna. Troopers say his 3-wheeler struck a pressure crack on the lake ice.
Credit Dept. of Public Safety

A Kokhanok man was killed in a single-ATV accident on Iliamna Lake this weekend.

William Gregory Wassillie, 53, was traveling across the lake ice Saturday evening from Kokhanok apparently towards Iliamna. He never arrived on the north shore, and did not show up back in Kokhanok the next day.

An air taxi spotted Wassillie and his 3-wheeler on the ice Sunday morning.

Locals report it appears Wassillie hit a pressure crack at a high rate of speed, sending both he and the bike catapulting some distance. He was not wearing a helmet. Lake residents have been saying for about a week that the ice is no longer safe to travel on.

A state wildlife trooper responded from King Salmon Sunday by helicopter. He was able to retrieve Wassillie's body, which was sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Wassillie’s life was pockmarked with time in and out of jail and living on the streets of Anchorage. A neighbor in Kokhanok says the 53-year-old had been back in the village for several years, getting his life back on track, working for the village council and doing odd jobs.  

In January a 17-year-old from Kokhanok was killed on Iliamna Lake when his ATV hit a snowbank at a high rate of speed. That teenager was also not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Reach the author at dave@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.