Bemidji man sentenced in fatal crash

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS — A Bemidji man will serve a year in jail for a fatal St. Patrick’s Day crash that he tried to pin on his friend who died in the rollover.

Thirty-year-old Christopher Smith was sentenced Monday in Itasca County court for felony criminal vehicular homicide. 

Authorities said Smith was driving when the vehicle drifted off Highway 65 near Goodland on March 17.

Email newsletter signup

A trooper asked who was driving and Smith allegedly pointed to the body of 56-year-old Mark Wirtjes.

Wirtjes was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the pickup. Another passenger said Smith was driving.