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Rathdrum man charged with vehicular manslaughter in June crash that killed 23-year-old

UPDATED: Tue., July 10, 2018, 8:06 p.m.

Alexa N. Mrgich, 23, of Hayden, was killed shortly before noon on June 16 when a pickup truck ran into the back of a motorcycle she was riding near Rathdrum. The driver of the truck, identified by police as Varsel M. Jarnagin, 40, of Rathdrum, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. (Shantelle Gravelle via GoFundMe.com)
Alexa N. Mrgich, 23, of Hayden, was killed shortly before noon on June 16 when a pickup truck ran into the back of a motorcycle she was riding near Rathdrum. The driver of the truck, identified by police as Varsel M. Jarnagin, 40, of Rathdrum, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. (Shantelle Gravelle via GoFundMe.com)

A Rathdrum man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with a crash that killed a 23-year-old woman last month.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Varsel M. Jarnagin was the driver of a GMC pickup truck that ran into the back of a motorcycle while approaching a stop sign at North Huetter Road and West Lancaster Avenue shortly before noon on June 16.

Alexa N. Mrgich, 23, of Hayden, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was loaded into an ambulance and pronounced dead upon her arrival at Kootenai Health, the sheriff’s office said.

Jarnagin, 40, received minor injuries in the crash and was released following treatment. The Kootenai County Jail’s online inmate roster shows he was arrested Saturday night at the Walmart in Post Falls.

Jarnagin was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon. The sheriff’s office said he has been booked into the jail at least 25 times in the past 20 years, most recently for domestic assault and trafficking heroin.

An online fundraiser for Mrgich’s family had raised more than $2,700 as of Tuesday. A family friend who set up the fundraiser wrote that Mrgich had worked as a hairstylist and a restaurant server.

“Alexa was a ray of sunshine to say the least,” wrote the friend, Shantelle Gravelle. “She was loved by so many people from so many places.”

The sheriff’s office said its investigation into the crash would continue.


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