An Iowa man has been charged with driving drunk Sunday and causing a crash that killed a 54-year-old woman.
Michael C. Barkema, 47, of Klemme, Iowa, was charged in Polk County Court with one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Barkema appeared in court Monday, where Judge Jeffery Anderson ordered he be held on a $5,000 cash bond. Barkema will return to court for a preliminary hearing March 19.
A preliminary breath test given at the scene indicates Barkema had a .28 blood-alcohol level, more than three times the legal limit.
According to the criminal complaint, the two-vehicle crash happened at about 7:05 p.m. Sunday on 202nd St. in Polk County. When the officer arrived, he found the injured woman still behind the wheel of her vehicle, and people at the scene couldn’t find a pulse; she was later pronounced dead by the Polk County medical examiner at 9:51 p.m. The woman’s name isn’t included in the criminal complaint.
The officer interviewed the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado, identified as Barkema. He was not injured; the two passengers in his vehicle also weren’t injured.
Barkema told the officer he was waiting to turn onto E. Cedar Lake Road with his turn signal on, when he was struck by a red Saturn.
The officer smelled the odor of alcohol on Barkema’s breath, and observed his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glossy. However, Barkema claimed he had consumed one beer that evening, and nothing since the crash occurred. He agreed to take a field sobriety test, which he failed. Barkema then took the preliminary breath test, which showed the .28 blood-alcohol level.
Barkema was placed under arrest and taken to the Osceola Medical Center for a blood draw.
An eye witness told the officer she observed Barkema slow down, and begin to turn his vehicle prior to the crash.