5-Year-Old in Sunday’s Kuskokwim Watercraft Collision Succumbs to Her Injuries


Location off Johnson River downstream from Bethel. Image-Google Maps
Location of Johnson River downstream from Bethel. Image-Google Maps

Alaska State Troopers have divulged additional information on the fatal collision on the Johnson River on Sunday.

According to AST, the collision took place on a blind turn in the river. David Berlin, in an 18-foot Alweld flatbottom skiff was negotiating the turn with 5-year-old Danielle Berlin-Walker aboard when traveling downriver and making the same turn in the river, 45-year-old Dennis Demientieff, and eight others, collided and went over the smaller watercraft, crushing both occupants. Both operators attempted to evade each other, but unfortunately, both turned in the same direction in their attempt to avoid a crash.

While only two suffered minor injuries in Demeientieff’s 21-foot skiff, David Berlin suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Danielle suffered serious injuries and was medevaced only to succumb to those injuries later.

The wreckage was discovered by another boater traveling the river to Bethel on Sunday afternoon and stopped to assist.

The investigation is continuing.

The Johnson River is a tributary of the Kuskokwim south of Bethel.