Newscast: 05/10/19 (5 PM)

May 10, 2019

Note: APIA's behavioral health staff is in Unalaska to support grieving students, families, and community members. This weekend, you can reach providers by calling 359-2743. They're available over the phone, or they'll provide information on how you can make a face-to-face appointment. You can also find more information here

KUCB produced this newscast with the latest on efforts to recover the bodies of Karly McDonald, 16, and Kiara Renteria Haist, 18, who died in a car accident Thursday on Unalaska's Mount Ballyhoo.


Coming up on KUCB news ... Responders have recovered the body of one of the teenagers killed yesterday in a car accident on Mount Ballyhoo -- and the other is expected to be recovered tonight ... stay tuned.


Good afternoon. You're listening to KUCB 89.7 FM Unalaska. I'm Laura Kraegel with some local news on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Responders have recovered the body of 18-year-old Kiara Renteria Haist -- one of two high school students killed yesterday in a car accident on Unalaska's Mount Ballyhoo.

KUCB spoke with Interim Police Chief John Lucking just before 3 o'clock.

"Just about an hour ago, we recovered her," he said. "We're maneuvering now to get the team in to try to get to Karly and get her out of there."

Lucking said he expected efforts to recover the body of 16-year-old Karly McDonald to take "a couple hours" more due to the area's difficult terrain.

He said both teenagers' bodies were located on the shoreline after a pickup truck "tumbled approximately 900-feet down" the mountain.

"We're looking for the best path to get in there," he said. "It's big boulders and kelp and a little bit of swell, so it's a very big challenge to get in there. Cliff face, too."

Lucking said members of a rescue unit started rappelling down the mountain around 11 o'clock this morning.

The unit was brought by the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak, which spent the night planning their descent by sending a C-130 aircraft to assess the terrain and the location of the bodies with aerial imaging.

Police are also investigating the cause of the accident, which happened yesterday afternoon around 1:30.

Lucking said the truck’s driver -- 18-year old Dustin Ruckman -- "lost control of the vehicle" on the Ulakta Head side of Ballyhoo.

Ruckman survived and was released from the clinic without treatment.

All three teenagers are lifelong residents of Unalaska: McDonald was a junior, Renteria Haist was a senior, and Ruckman is a senior.

With classmates, families, and community members now grieving, the Unalaska City School hosted a team of counselors today -- and will continue to do so throughout the weekend.

District officials say the school will remain open late this evening for those seeking support.

It'll also be open tomorrow from noon until 7 o'clock in the evening.

In light of the accident, the district has also announced that it's canceled the prom, which was scheduled for tomorrow night.

Instead, the high school will have a "Celebration of Life" formal next Friday, May 17.

The high school graduation ceremony will then proceed as planned next Saturday, May 18.

Once again, counselors are providing support this weekend to all grieving students, families, and community members.

Providers and resources will be available over the phone, at the high school, at Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, at APIA's behavioral health clinic, and at Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.

You can find more information and phone numbers for those providers on our website -- KUCB dot ORG -- as well as on our Facebook page.

We will also continue posting the latest news on both of those platforms -- and then return with more on Monday during our regular noon newscast.

And that's the news from Unalaska.

I'm Laura Kraegel, and you're listening to KUCB, 89.7 FM.

Please stay tuned for your local and marine weather forecasts.

This story previously stated the mountain rescue unit was sent by the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak. In fact, Kodiak Island Search and Rescue (KISAR) is a nonprofit volunteer organization that was dispatched by the Alaska State Troopers and transported to Unalaska by the Coast Guard. The transcript above has been updated with the correct information.