Update: Idaho Falls man pleads not guilty to vehicular manslaughter after deadly crash on I-15
Story updated at 3:40 p.m. Thursday with court information. Story was originally posted at 9:30 a.m.
BINGHAM COUNTY — An Idaho Falls man who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter following a deadly three-vehicle crash Wednesday has pleaded not guilty.
Dirk Johnson, 59, was booked into the Bingham County Jail late Wednesday evening. He appeared in magistrate court Thursday morning and was released on a $1,000 bond.
Johnson was appointed a public defender. He will be back in court in late July.
According to Idaho Code, the charge alleges Johnson is responsible for unlawful killing of a human being in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, without gross negligence.
EastIdahoNews.com reached out to the Bingham County Prosecutor’s Office for comment Thursday morning; however, the office had not yet received the crash reports.
According to Idaho State Police, Johnson was in a construction zone traveling northbound on Interstate 15 in an empty gravel truck. Traffic began to slow and Johnson was unable to slow down in time to avoid rear ending vehicles in front of him. Johnson is said to have veered into oncoming traffic, colliding into a Dodge 2500 pickup truck pulling a horse trailer.
Shirley Williams, 65, of Idaho Falls, was traveling southbound in the Dodge. Williams was transported by ground ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries. Her horse was also killed in the crash.
North and southbound lanes on I-15 were rerouted for around six hours while investigators processed the scene.