64-Year-Old Fairbanks Man Perishes in Chena River Boating Accident Tuesday


Christopher Hight's remains were located following boating incident.
Christopher Hight’s remains were located following boating incident.

Fairbanks-based troopers report that one boater survived while another perished in a Tuesday morning boating accident on the Chena River.

According to the report, James Fillion, age 60, and Christopher Hight, age 64, both of Fairbanks launched their craft at mile 44 of Chena Hot Springs Road on the North Fork of the river for a day boating trip. Troopers were notified on Wednesday morning that the duo had not returned on Tuesday as scheduled.

Trooper reported that the men’s vehicle was located at the launch where they had parked it. Later, the boat itself was located five miles up the east fork of the river pinned in a log jam. Helo 2 was launched and soon Fillion was found on a sandbar nearby, but there was no sign of Hight.

AST, Wildlife troopers, State Parks, Wilderness Search and Rescue, and PAWS responded to assist Helo 2 in the search of the river. Wildlife troopers and State Parks launched watercraft while WSAR searched along the river. Two PAWS K9s also took up the search in the river area.

At 2:20 pm on Thursday afternoon, Hight’s remains were located and his next of kin was notified.