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Arraignment hearing set for Omaha man accused of vehicular homicide after hitting pedestrian in Mason City parking lot

MASON CITY — The arraignment date has been set for an Omaha man accused of vehicular homicide after hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in a Mason City store parking lot.

Mason City police were called to the Mills Fleet Farm parking lot on the afternoon of June 8th on the report of a pedestrian/vehicle crash. The pedestrian, 62-year-old Dawn Merrick of Mason City, was transported to MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center where she died on June 10th as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

35-year-old Christopher Rathfon of Omaha was arrested at the time of the crash and charged with serious injury by vehicle, operating while intoxicated and reckless driving, but those charges were upgraded to vehicular homicide while operating under the influence on June 14th.

District Judge Gregg Rosenbladt on Wednesday issued an order scheduling Rathfon’s arraignment hearing for August 17th. If convicted of vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, Rathfon would face up to 25 years in prison. 

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