Buskin truck

Choctaw Defense Services employees work to recover a truck from the Buskin River on Thursday.

A local man and his three-year-old son narrowly avoided tragedy Thursday, when the man’s truck rolled backwards into the Buskin River with the child still inside it. According to Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Daniel Blizzard, the man’s dog was also in the car –– but both the dog and the child were rescued from the truck before it was completely submerged in the river. The truck was later towed out of the river and absorbent boom was briefly deployed to clean up what Blizzard described as “very minimal oil spillage.”

According to Blizzard the incident occurred around midday Thursday. The man, whom Blizzard did not name, had been fishing with his son at Buskin Lake. The man wasn’t having much luck with his fishing, so he drove further down and parked near Beaver Lake, before getting out of the vehicle.

“The dog and the three-year old son were still in the truck. The son was strapped into his car seat,” Blizzard said. “The dog knocked the car into drive or neutral… and the car went backward and was completely submerged into the Buskin.”

Blizzard said that, fortunately, the vehicle entered the river “rather slowly,” allowing time to get both the dog and child out of the truck. By the time AST arrived on the scene, the truck was wholly submerged in the river.

Blizzard noted that the incident was “strictly an accident,” and added “it was lucky they got the three-year-old out.”

Because the incident took place on Coast Guard land, Military Police responded to the incident within minutes of it being called in, according to Blizzard. He said that the Coast Guard arranged for its contractor, Choctaw Defense Services, to pull the vehicle out and ensure any spilled oil was cleaned up.

Blizzard said there were no injuries reported.