A 54-year-old trucker accused of fatally hitting a tow truck driver is facing charges, including operating while intoxicated, according to Iowa officials and news outlets.
Investigators say the semi-truck driver, Dmytro Prysich, was traveling along U.S. Interstate 80, near Urbandale, at about 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, when his vehicle swerved onto the shoulder and collided with a tow truck and its driver, according to an Iowa State Patrol crash report.
Joshua James Villa, 45, was parked on the right shoulder of the highway and preparing to tow a vehicle when Prysich approached in his big rig, the report said, adding that the semi-truck “failed to move over for emergency vehicles and failed to stay in its lane.”
Villa died, the report said.
According to police, an officer with the Urbandale Police Department was already at the scene and assisting Villa when the crash occurred, WHO reported.
Prysich kept driving until he was eventually pulled over by officers from neighboring Clive, the outlet reported.
According to court documents, Prysich told police that “he believed he hit a bird,” KCCI reported.
Prysich smelled like alcohol, seemed visibly intoxicated and his breath alcohol content was over the legal limit, according to the station. He was taken into custody and is facing charges including homicide by vehicle-OWI and leaving the scene of a deadly accident, according to Polk County jail records and multiple news outlets.
Urbandale is a suburb of Des Moines, roughly 10 miles northwest of the city’s downtown.