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Driver released from hospital, charged with vehicular manslaughter in crash with motorcycle

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POCATELLO, Idaho — A Pocatello driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter following a head-on crash that killed a motorcyclist.

The Idaho State Journal reported (http://is.gd/1JXaNY ) that 29-year-old Joanne Christofferson was arrested Saturday after being discharged from Portneuf Medical Center. Staci Shryock, 44, of Pocatello, died in the crash Friday.

State police have yet to release further details of why Christofferson was being charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, which carries a potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

State police said the investigation is not over, and that the woman could face a longer sentence if they determine she was driving under the influence when her 1997 Mazda Protege collided with the Harley Davidson.

Shryock, who died at the scene, was one of three people killed Friday in traffic accidents in southeast Idaho.

Irving Escalante, 27, of Armona, California, died in a one-vehicle crash in Blackfoot and motorcyclist Jamie Gallegos, 29, of Aberdeen, was killed south of that city when he collided with a car.

The Blackfoot wreck occurred around 2 a.m., when a 2009 Dodge Challenger was southbound on Meridian Street, and the driver ran a stop sign at the U.S. Highway 91 intersection, state police said. The car crossed all four lanes of travel on U.S. Highway 91, went off the shoulder on the road's east side, struck a tree and overturned.

Escalante died at the scene. The vehicle's other three occupants were taken to hospitals.

Family members told the Journal that one of the victims, Andrew Littlefield, was airlifted by emergency helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Another occupant, Jose Garza, 34, of Blackfoot, was airlifted to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello.


Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com

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