Crime & Courts

Bristol Bay fisherman charged with manslaughter and DUI in deaths of two pedestrians in Naknek

A grand jury in Anchorage this week indicted Bristol Bay fisherman Curtis Michael Chevalier, 33, of Washington state in the killing of two pedestrians in the Southwest Alaska town of Naknek.

Chevalier is charged with two counts of manslaughter, failure to render aid and driving under the influence. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

In a criminal complaint, Bristol Bay Borough Police Chief John Rhyshek said he was dispatched to Alaska Peninsula Highway regarding a report that two people were struck by a vehicle while walking on the side of the road around 4:30 a.m. July 21.

Timothy Jacob of Napaskiak was killed instantly, while Vincent Martin of Anchorage was taken to Camai Medical Clinic, where he succumbed to his injuries just before being flown to an Anchorage hospital, charging documents said. Both men had been working in the Bristol Bay region.

The following morning, investigators found a 1976 Ford truck described by a witness parked in the fishermen’s parking lot at Alaska General Seafoods. The truck had significant damage to the front passenger side, according to the charging document.

Chevalier had been fishing for Alaska General Seafoods during the 2021 season on the vessel Ella Mae. Rhyshek found Chevalier asleep with two crew members on the boat, which was tied up at the dock.

Chevalier told law enforcement he’d been driving the truck after drinking with the crew at two bars to the point he should not have been driving. He said on his drive home he heard a loud popping noise and thought his tires may have exploded, but after finding they had not, he drove off, the document said.

The two others who went out with Chevalier that night, William Marble and Nathan Rouleau, said they did not remember driving home in the truck and said they had consumed a lot of alcohol, according to the criminal complaint.

Roughly seven hours after the call to authorities, a blood alcohol test put Chevalier at .086, just above the .08 legal limit for driving, according to the complaint.

A previous version of this story misspelled Bristol Bay Police chief John Rhyshek’s last name.