A newlywed woman tragically passed away last week after her and her husband embarked on a journey into the Alaskan abyss to look for the old, abandoned bus made famous by the story of Christopher McCandless. The adventurer’s story was famously chronicled and publicized by Jon Krakauer in his book, Into the Wild.
Veramika Maikamava, 24, of Belarus was reportedly swept away by a rushing current and drowned when trying to cross the Teklanika River near the Stampede Trail just outside the desolate town of Healy, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Maikamava’s husband, Piotr Markielau, also 24, called the Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks late Thursday evening to phone in his wife’s death during the hike.
According to the local news outlet, the river had a strong flow due to recent heavy rains. Markielau was able to rescue his wife from the river a few hundred feet downstream but it was already too late.
The abandoned Fairbanks Bus 142 became a notable icon following McCandless’ attempt to live a minimalistic life after he unexpectedly left all of his belongings and loved ones behind for the Alaskan Frontier. McCandless made the abandoned bus his new home but because he was ill-prepared to deal with the harsh conditions of the Alaskan wild, he met his fate nearly four months after finding refuge in the bus.
After McCandless’ story was made famous by Krakauer’s book, Sean Penn adapted it into a Hollywood feature in 2007. Since then, countless people have hiked in an attempt to find the bus.
According to CNN, a Swiss hiker also drowned trying to cross the Teklanika river less than a mile from the bus back in 2010. Because of the influx of people, authorities say that people are rescued on almost a regular basis.