Search Continues for Missing Customs Agent

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The man who’s wrecked SUV was found submerged in a creek off the Taylor Highway Tuesday, works in Eagle. Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says Charles W. Collins home of record is Eagle River, outside Anchorage, but he works seasonally in Eagle, on the Yukon, at the end of the Taylor Highway.  Longtime Eagle resident John Borg says Collins is a U.S. customs agent.

Searchers continue to look for Collins where his vehicle lies submerged in O’Brien Creek near mile 114 of the Taylor Highway.  The Troopers Beth Ipsen says the creek is running high and turbid, hampering search efforts.  Collins was on official business when he left Eagle Sunday night.  Borg says Collins was driving a government SUV toward another border station likely to deal with a paper work issue when heavy rains hit.

Borg says the Division of Homeland Security has not sent anyone to Eagle to take Collins place as the local customs agent.  The agent’s primary responsibility is checking in tourists who come to Eagle on the Yukon Queen Cruise boat from Dawson City.  Borg says the boat has stopped running because Holland American can’t get buses in to pick up passengers at Eagle. The Taylor Highway, Eagle’s only road link, remains closed from Eagle to Chicken due to flood damage.

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