Sad news to report, as the abandoned bus featured in the true-life drama Into the Wild is responsible for luring a hiker to her death in Alaska. The bus was featured in Sean Penn's biopic on Christopher McCandless, and served as the man's makeshift home in the wilderness until he passed away in 1992.
The bus has actually served to rescue a number of hikers over the years, who have used the abandoned transport vehicle for shelter. The bus was first made famous in the 1996 book by Jon Krakauer, upon which the 2007 film starring Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Emile Hirsch, who has seen his fair share of controversy in recent years, was based
Veramika Maikamava was a 24 year old newlywed who had decided to go hiking in search of the bus in question. She and her 24 year old husband Piotr Markielau hail from Belarus. As Piotr reported to the police, his wife had gone looking for the discarded vehicle when she was swept away by a river in Alaska.
Both Sean Penn's movie Into the Wild and Jon Krakauer's book chronicled the life of free spirit Christopher McCandless. He had hiked into the Alaska wilderness on his own with very little food and no camping equipment. He spent the summer living inside the bus in question. It's estimated that he spent about four months living in the bus, where his body was discovered as fall soon swept across the area he'd staked out. It's not clear how long the bus had been there before Chris McCandless happened upon it.
Piotr Markielau had alerted officers in the Fairbanks, Alaska area that his wife had drowned in the river during their hike. Alaska State Troopers have confirmed this. According to the husband's account, the newlyweds were attempting to cross the Teklanika River, which runs across the Stampede Trail near Healy, home of the infamous bus. Veramika had no chance of survival once she was swept into the river, as it was flowing higher than normal, and rolling fast due to recent rainfall.
Markielau had managed to pull his wife out of the water a short distance downriver. But by the time he'd gotten her to shore, it was already too late. The woman had drowned during her time underneath the fast flowing current. The body was later recovered from the side of the riverbank. This isn't the first time fans of the Into the Wild story have run into trouble seeking out the abandoned bus.
In June 2013, a military helicopter was sent out to rescue three hikers who'd gone searching for the vehicle. Earlier in May of that year, three other German hikers also had to be rescued when they went seeking the bus. At the time, they became stranded near the Stampede Trail, close to Healy, located 10 miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve on the Parks Highway. They claimed that the river had become impassable after they'd crossed it, and were unable to return to the other side. Unlike McCandless, they had proper hiking and camping equipment with them, but only enough food to survive for three days. The story of the most recent drowning was reported by NewsMiner.com.