Alaska State Troopers have confirmed that on July 13, a child died of injuries that she sustained from a boat collision on the Johnson River, a tributary of the Kuskokwim River.
On July 12, 51-year-old David Berlin of Bethel was navigating a blind turn in his Alweld 18-foot flat bottom skiff on the Johnson River when another skiff, piloted by Dennis Demientieff of Kasigluk, appeared from the opposite direction.
Both boats tried to avoid each other, but turned the same way. Demientieff’s heavier skiff went over Berlin’s skiff, crushing the occupants and killing Berlin. His five-year old granddaughter, Danielle Berlin-Walker, was severely injured. She died on Monday, July 13.
Two other adults were in Berlin’s 18-foot skiff and sustained minor injuries. Berlin’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for David and Danielle's funerals.
The nine occupants in Demientieff’s heavier skiff were not injured. Another traveler came across the accident and notified the troopers.