Michael Barkema

POLK COUNTY– Michael C. Barkema, 47, of Klemme, Iowa, has been preliminarily charged with homicide by the intoxicated use of a vehicle after a woman died in a crash on Saturday, Feb. 23, in Polk County.

The accident occurred when Barkema, with two passengers in his truck and hauling a large trailer, was northbound on 202nd St. and went to make a left turn on East Cedar Lake Road. He was struck by the woman driving a southbound Saturn Ion.

She died at the scene before the sheriff’s deputy arrived. Her name has not been publicly released

Barkema told investigating deputy that they were in Hayward and were going to spend the night at their cabin. Previously that night they had met some friends in Cumberland. He said he had had one or two beers.

The deputy at the scene said alcohol could be smelled on Barkema’s breath, his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and several clues of impairment were observed during the field sobriety tests.

A preliminary breath test came back at .28, the probable cause for arrest report said.

The probable cause report notes the reasoning behind the arrest and is used by the prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge during the initial appearance to determine probable cause, whether the cause is sufficient for the district attorney to charge the defendant, and as a basis for the judge to set bond.

It will be up to the district attorney to decide whether to officially charge Barkema with the homicide charge or any other.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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