Man charged in drunken crash that killed friend near Neah Bay

A 21-year-old Makah Tribe member is accused of accidentally killing his friend during a drunken car crash near Neah Bay.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Meric Soeneke was indicted Feb. 21 for involuntary manslaughter, in connection to an incident on Dec. 21, 2023.

According to court records, Soeneke was drunkenly driving along an ocean beach at night, with three other friends in the car. Court docs say he struck a large tree that had fallen across the beach, and a 26-year-old woman, also a Makah Tribe member, was killed in the crash.

Soeneke was initially charged in Tribal Court and released on bail.

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If convicted for involuntary manslaughter, Soeneke could spend up to eight years in prison.