GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — 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.

As part of his 10 years probation, Smith will have to pay a fine of $1,085, provide a DNA sample, undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and not use alcohol or non-prescription drugs.

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

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


  1. Dan Mack says:

    That’s harsh. Here in the Socialist Village alcohol related deaths and serious injuries are socially acceptable. That’s why Dayton and the DFL promote alcoholism to young impressionable children in the public stadiums where they indelibly imprint the alcohol they sell there with the healthy image of sports. Alcoholism is the future of Minnesota. Get your children started on alcohol early. Give them a head start.

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