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Maple Falls man receives sentencing in head-on crash on Mt Baker Highway

DEMING, Wash. — Andrey Andreyevich Varkentin, age 37, of Maple Falls, was sentenced to 3 months in custody on June 30th after pleading guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court to 1 felony count of vehicular assault with disregard for the safety of others and causing substantial bodily harm to another.

The charged stemmed from an April 28th head-on crash on Mount Baker Highway (SR542) that sent Varkentin and another driver to the hospital via ambulance.

Washington State Patrol (WSP) reported a westbound 2001 Toyota Highlander driven by Varkentin was in the 5400 block of the highway when it crossed the center line. A driver in an eastbound 2017 Volkswagen Golf unsuccessfully took evasive action to avoid a head-on crash and both vehicles collided on the shoulder of the road and came to rest down an embankment.

Whatcom County Fire District 14 Fire Chief Jerry DeBruin told Whatcom News a resident 300 to 500 yards away heard the crash in the 55mph section of road and called 911.

DeBruin said his crews arrive to find both vehicles down a slope, about 30 feet off the road in blackberry bushes. “Someone driving by at 55mph would likely never notice the wreckage,” DeBruin said. “We are fortunate the neighbor heard the crash.”

Varkentin had remained in custody since being booked into Whatcom County Jail on April 28th and was released on June 30th due to “time served” according to jail records. His driver’s license will be revoked as part of the sentencing.

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