A Nome woman charged with manslaughter in an April hit-and-run car collision has been released on bail.
Adrienne Michels, 30, was released on bail Wednesday May 14 on charges related to the April death of Savoonga artist and firefighter Wagner “Repa” Wongittilin.
Twice in April judges rejected requests by Michels’ attorney to lower bail from the original $50,000 offered at the time of her arrest. At a formal bail hearing last week, Michels’ attorney said bail was officially set at $25,000, which was posted that day.
Upon her release, Michels was released into the custody of two court-approved third-party custodians. The date of her bail happened to coincide with Michels’ 30th birthday.
According to court records Wongittilin was walking with his son and nephew along 5th Avenue and Bering Street in Nome around 1 a.m. on April 12 when police say he was hit by a Ford Explorer SUV driven by Michels. A police affidavit used in court said Michels initially left the scene of the crash but returned a short time later with her father.
She told officers she “did not see Wongitillin in the roadway” before hitting him. Michels failed several field sobriety tests and eventually was found to have a blood alcohol content of .227, more than two and a half times the legal limit.
Court records report a cab driver who witnessed the incident saw Wongitillin “jump in front of the SUV with both hands above his head, as if to warn (the driver) of the pedestrians walking in the area.”
In addition to facing initial charges of manslaughter, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident, Michels was indicted by a grand jury in mid-April on an additional felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident while failing to help the injured.
Michels has her next hearing in Superior Court July 16.