Idaho Falls woman charged with vehicular manslaughter, DUI, for June crash
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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls woman is now charged for a fatal crash that killed a motorcyclist in June.
Caybrie DeGarlais, 20, is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor DUI in connection to the June 22 crash that killed 41-year-old Cody Jacob Niendorf Jr. Charging documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com indicate at the time of the crash DeGarlais had THC — the main psychoactive part of marijuana — in her system.
DeGarlais was not arrested when the charge was filed by Idaho Falls city prosecutors on Sept. 30. Instead, she was issued a summons to appear in court Thursday. Her attorney Stephen Meikle filed a notice of appearance on her behalf and entered a not guilty plea on the charges.
Police reports show Niendorf was riding west on Sunnyside Road around 6 p.m. that evening when DeGarlais exited Interstate 15 on the southbound off-ramp. When DeGarlais tried turning onto Sunnyside Road, she hit Niendorf with her 2020 Toyota Corolla, according to court documents.
In a June news release, the Idaho Falls Police Department said the driver of the Corolla told officers they did not see the motorcycle. Neither DeGarlais’s name nor Niendorf’s were included in that release.
Emergency responders arrived within minutes of the crash and rushed Niendorf to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Medical staff at the hospital pronounced Niendorf dead about 30 minutes after the crash.
Police took a blood sample from DeGarlais and the Idaho State Police lab determined she the THC in her system.
An investigation by Idaho Falls Police Officers determined had DeGarlais waited 1.47 seconds to yield to Neindorf, the motorcyclist would not have had to slam on his brakes and the crash wouldn’t have happened, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Niendorf was reportedly not wearing a helmet or any other protective gear at the time of the crash. A blood test also showed Niendorf had methamphetamine, amphetamine and a low level of alcohol in his system when he died.
Both Niendorf and DeGarlais had suspended driver’s licenses at the time of the June crash, according to a police report.
Although DeGarlais is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.