Crime & Courts

ATV driver charged with manslaughter in death of pedestrian in Akiachak

The driver of an all-terrain vehicle that struck and killed a woman walking in the Western Alaska village of Akiachak last week has been charged with manslaughter and DUI, troopers said.

Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said in an email Katherine Noatak, 25, was charged in the death of 76-year-old Ruth Lomack, who was hit just before midnight Friday on Front Street in Akiachak. Noatak, also injured in the crash, was taken to a hospital in nearby Bethel.

"Charges were filed after investigation a few days later," Peters wrote.

In a criminal complaint against Noatak, Trooper Nicolas Hayes said clinic staff reported Lomack suffered facial injuries and also had her left leg broken in several places; she was pronounced dead at the clinic.

"Tribal Police Officer Nicholas Andreanoff further reported (Noatak) appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, and that a bottle of Monarch brand spirits was discovered on her person after the collision," Hayes wrote.

Troopers said Noatak had a blood alcohol content of 0.137 – more than 50 percent above Alaska's legal limit for driving of 0.08 – in Bethel shortly before 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

Noatak allegedly told troopers she felt "poorly and suicidal" the previous night, then left her home on the ATV so she could drink alone.


According to Hayes, Noatak said she drank about two bottles of Monarch, then blacked out Friday night.

"(Noatak) did not remember anything after wanting to drive the ATV home, besides arriving in Bethel at the hospital," Hayes wrote. "(She) did not think she should have been driving after drinking alcohol."

Noatak was being held at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel Wednesday morning, according to a statewide inmate database.

Anyone with additional information on the collision that killed Lomack is asked to call Bethel troopers at 907-543-2294.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.