AD Main Menu

Kokhanok villager indicted in man's four-wheeling death

Casey Grove

A Kokhanok woman has been indicted in the 2012 death of a man thrown from a four-wheeler she was driving, according to state prosecutors.

A grand jury indicted 24-year-old Brenda Nowatak on Wednesday. She faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and drunken driving in the death of 25-year-old Trefim Wassillie Jr. in Kokhanok, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on the edge of Lake Iliamna.

According to Alaska State Troopers, the four-wheeler Nowatak drove Sept. 16 along the edge of the lake hit a stump and Wassillie, riding on the back, flew off.

Wassillie's mother found his lifeless body floating face down in the lake, according to a written statement from the Anchorage District Attorney's Office. Troopers say their investigation revealed Nowatak had been driving and that she had been drunk. A medical examiner learned during an autopsy that Wassillie had hit his head and drowned, prosecutors said.

Following the Wednesday indictment, troopers arrested Nowatak on Thursday.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.