ANCHORAGE -

A man was critically injured near Stony River Thursday night when he and his wife were both thrown from a snowmachine, with the Alaska Air National Guard medevacing him to Anchorage.

According to a statement from Sgt. Balinda O’Neal, the 11th Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center was informed of the incident just after midnight Friday, when the 40-year-old man had been taken to the Stony River Clinic.

“(T)he man and his wife were both thrown from the snowmachine nine miles from town,” O’Neal wrote. “The uninjured wife was able to drive the snowmachine with her husband to the clinic, where the staff began communications with a doctor from Bethel.”

RCC personnel cited nighttime conditions as a major factor in why Guard aircraft were asked to fly the mission to Stony River, 190 miles west of Anchorage.

“We were the only assets able to respond because of the runway conditions,” Lt. Col. John Morse, the RCC’s deputy director, said in the statement. “Alaska State Troopers are unable to fly at night and the civilian air ambulance could not land on an unlit runway.”

An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules were launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The helicopter’s crew stabilized the man for transport to an Anchorage hospital, with both aircraft returning to JBER at about 7 a.m. Friday.