A man charged with vehicular homicide in the death of a friend near Carbonado pleaded not guilty Monday at his arraignment.
Samuel Hoffer, 24, was driving his pickup at Evans Creek Off-Road Vehicle Park when it went off a cliff and rolled a couple dozen times Nov. 7, 2012.
His passenger, 23-year-old Joseph Castro, died from injuries from the crash.
Hoffer walked eight miles barefoot to get help. When rescue crews arrived, Castro was dead.
At the time, Hoffer said he’d turned a corner and was startled by a deer. He swerved, he said, and the pickup went off the cliff as he overcorrected.
But according to charging papers, Hoffer changed his account after taking a polygraph test while applying to be a wildlife officer with the Muckleshoot Tribe in June.
When asked about the crash, he said there was no deer and that he’d been drunk.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Hoffer released on his own recognizance Monday as he awaits trial.