Driver of Van in June Atka Crash Charged with Multiple Counts of Manslaughter

Location of Atka in the western Aleutian Islands. Image-Google Maps
Location of Atka in the western Aleutian Islands. Image-Google Maps

Two months after a fatal crash in Atka that took the lives of three passengers, troopers report that they have arrested the driver, identified as 28-year-old Sonny Iloilo of Anchorage on three counts of Manslaughter, six counts of Assault I, six counts of Assault III and DUI.

Iloilo was arrested following his release from the hospital where he was receiving treatment for injuries that he sustained in the crash.

Troopers couldn’t immediately respond to the remote community on the western end of the Aleutian chain  after the fatal crash that took the lives of 43-year-old Ray McCullough Jr and 57-year-old Paul Nicholas Nesbit, of Anchorage and 51-year-old Mike Tunohun of Old Harbor. Inclement weather hampered their immediate efforts.

Several of the nine passengers who sustained injuries were taken to Adak then on to Anchorage for treatment.[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]

The trooper investigation revealed that Iloilo was traveling on a straight stretch of road in the community, when he drifted off the road and then over-corrected, causing the vehicle to roll several times, then coming to rest on the opposite side of the roadway. None of the 10 persons aboard were wearing seatbelts. Troopers say the lack of seatbelts, speed and Iloilo’s impairment were major factors causing the fatal crash.

Troopers identified the remaining passengers in the van as Jacob Bernet, 32,  Steven Nyberg, 48, Loelu Siatuu, 26, and Boulay Vilavong, 54 of Anchorage, in addition to Jesus Hernandez, 66 of California, and Jonathan Merculief, 31 of Unalaska.

Iloilo was remanded to the Anchorage Jail on $250,000 cash performance plus a third-party custodian. 

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The community of Atka, with its population of 66 residents, resides on the island of the same name in the western Aleutians.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adversal-468×60″]