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Iditarod dog killed after man on snowmachine hits two teams

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Credit: Iditarod Trail Committee

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A dog competing in the Iditarod in Alaska was killed and several others were injured when a man on a snowmachine hit two of the teams in the famed trail race.

Alaska state troopers on Saturday arrested Arnold Demoski, 26, of Nulato, after they found the snowmachine they believe was used in the incidents.

CNN affiliate KTUU spoke with Demoski, who told the Anchorage station that he regretted being out.

“I made a mistake, shouldn’t have been driving last night,” he told the station in a video posted on its Facebook page. “It wasn’t intentional though.”

A picture taken by KTUU shows Demoski’s snowmachine (known as a snowmobile elsewhere) with a missing hood.

“I just want to say I’m sorry and I feel bad for what I did,” he said.

Authorities said Jeff King, a four-time Iditarod champion, reported that his dog team was hit in the early morning hours Saturday as they were on the trail heading to the Nulato checkpoint.

One of his dogs — a male named Nash — was killed and several others were injured, state troopers said in a news release. King was checked out when he got to Nulato but wasn’t injured, officials said.

Aliy Zirkle said earlier her sled was side-swiped by a snow machine as she made her way toward the Nulato checkpoint. Zirkle told authorities the man turned his machine around several times and came back at her before leaving the scene. One of her dogs was bruised, state police said in their statement.

Demoski told KTUU that he turned around after the incident with Zirkle because he was concerned about the condition of her and her dogs.

Demoski was charged Saturday with two counts of third-degree assault , one count of reckless endangerment, one count of reckless driving and six counts of fifth-degree criminal mischief.

CNN spoke to a man who answered the phone at a number listed for Demoski. The man said Demoski wasn’t home and took a message.

The Iditarod Trail Committee said both racers will continue.