URBANDALE, Iowa (WHO) — Officials say a semi-truck driver was under the influence when his semi struck and killed a tow-truck driver Sunday night on I-80 in Urbandale.
It happened around 10:10 p.m. near the 130-mile marker on westbound I-80, according to the Iowa State Patrol. That’s just east of the 86th Street exit.
The tow truck driver, 45-year-old Joshua Villa of Adel, Iowa, was on the right shoulder towing another vehicle when he and the wrecker were struck by a semi-truck driven by 54-year-old Dmytro Prysich of Hamtramck, Michigan.
The ISP says Prysich was traveling westbound and failed to move his semi over for emergency vehicles and failed to stay in his lane. The semi left the road and collided with Villa and the wrecker.
Villa was pronounced dead at the scene.
Criminal complaints filed in the case say an Urbandale Police Officer was on the scene assisting with the crash as well as a Highway Helper with a sign indicating traffic move to the left, away from the outside lane.
The semi did not move over or slow down and struck Villa as he was getting out of the tow truck.
The complaint said Prysich didn’t stop and when he was pulled over by Clive Police Officers he told them he thought he hit a “bird.” The officers could smell alcohol coming from Prysich and said he had difficulty maintaining his balance. According to the complaint, Prysich showed impairment during field sobriety testing and a breath test showed his blood alcohol level was over .08.
Prysich was booked into the Polk County Jail just after 3:00 a.m. Monday on charges of homicide by vehicle-OWI, leaving the scene of a deadly accident, and failure to change lane upon approach to emergency stationary vehicles – death.
A $500,000 cash-only bond has been set on the homicide by vehicle charge.