Belarusian actress dies in Alaskan wilderness during wedding trip to ‘Magic Bus’
Nikonova, a budding actress and director, was only 24 years old and just married to a Belarusian opposition activist Pyotr Markelov, when her dream adventure went horribly wrong. The couple was trying to cross the Teklanika River after hiking back from the abandoned bus turned into a landmark by the book and the movie ‘Into the Wild.’
To help the hikers, a rope has been stretched across the river, yet the current was waist-deep and exhausting to cross. According to Markelov, who crossed the river first, the woman managed to get roughly to the middle before slipping and crying for help. He claims he rushed to help and tried to drag her out, but Nikonova ultimately drowned in the swift-running currents. All of Markelov’s attempts to resuscitate his wife failed.
Nikonova was best known for her role in the 2010 Belarusian-Russian war drama film ‘The Brest Fortress’ she starred in. She moved to the US several years later.
Alaskan authorities have launched a probe into the incident, retrieving Nikonova’s body for an autopsy to “determine the cause of death,” local police spokesperson told TASS. For some reason, the woman’s name was initially misspelled as ‘Veramika Maikamava’, adding confusion to media reports.
Countless would-be adventurers have been rescued attempting to reach the bus where Chris McCandless died in "Into the Wild," as well as three known instances of fans being found dead. pic.twitter.com/tjLTnfS7cN— Nameless Network (@namelesstv) July 3, 2018
The abandoned bus that Nikonova gave her life to visit was the dilapidated 1946 International Harvester K-5 known as the ‘Magic Bus.’ Located on the Stampede Trail near Denali National Park, the vehicle became an iconic landmark thanks to Christopher McCandless, also known by the pseudonym Alexander Supertramp, a US hiker who sought a simple life in the wild and ultimately perished in the same bus back in 1992 due to starvation. His story was publicized in the biographical book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and turned into the eponymous 2007 film, making the bus a choice destination for hundreds of hikers.
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