Newlywed Woman Swept Away By Flooded River, Killed While Trying To Reach ‘Into The Wild’ Bus In Alaska

A picture of Denali National Park in Alaska.
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A newlywed woman was swept away by a flooded river and killed as she and her husband tried to reach the abandoned bus in a desolate part of Alaska made famous by the movie and book Into the Wild.

As the Anchorage Daily News reported, the newlyweds Veramika Maikamava and Piotr Markielau, both 24, were attempting to cross the Teklanika River along the Stampede Trail shortly when Veramika was pulled under the water. The report noted that the river was swollen from some recent rainfall, making an already swift crossing even more dangerous.

Officials said that the pair were holding a rope that spans the length of the river when Maikamava lost her footing in the waist-deep water and was swept downstream. Her body was recovered close to 100 feet downriver, but by then, the young woman had died.

The couple had been married for less than a month and was hiking in Alaska for their honeymoon. The report noted that they were attempting to cross the river at close to midnight.

They were trying to reach when has been called the “Magic Bus,” an abandoned bus that had been fashioned into an emergency shelter. It was this bus where 24-year-old Chris McCandless lived after he trekked into the Alaskan wilderness in 1992. He would later die there, with some experts believing he succumbed to starvation.

McCandless’ story was immortalized in the 1996 book Into The Wild, which would later be turned into a movie of the same name.

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As CNN noted, McCandless had also encountered his own share of trouble at the Teklanika River at the same time of year. After staying in the abandoned bus for three months, he planned to return to civilization by July but arrived at a river crossing to find it was swollen and running fast from recent rain and melting snow from nearby glaciers. The river blocked his return, and McCandless was forced to return to the bus, where he would die a month later.

The trail itself is a popular destination for hikers, but also a very dangerous one. Some have even posted YouTube videos of the treacherous crossing at the Teklanika River, including one that shows a group of three hikers being swept away by the fast-moving water as they attempted to cross while holding a rope that had been stretched across the length of the river. Officials in Alaska said there have been several rescues of other hikers attempting to reach the bus.