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Charges upped for driver after Des Moines motorcyclist dies

Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable when they're on the road, as helmets, goggles and other riding gear can't always offer them the protection they need in the event of a serious collision. No matter how careful the rider is, one reckless driver can mean the difference between life and death.

In the early evening hours of March 29, 2014, a 21-year-old Des Moines resident was allegedly driving his car at a high rate of speed in the area of Dean Avenue and East 30th Street. The driver subsequently lost control of his car and crossed the center of the road before hitting a retaining wall. The car then had a head-on collision with a motorcycle driven by a 51-year-old Des Moines resident.

The cyclist was transported to Mercy Medical Center to receive treatment for the catastrophic injuries he suffered in the accident. He died less than two weeks later.

Law enforcement officials who arrived on the scene reportedly found a bottle of vodka in the car that was involved in the crash. The driver was tested and found to have a blood alcohol content level of .182 percent, which is substantially higher than the .08 level according to Iowa law. He was arrested and originally charged with a number of violations, including OWI first offense, open container, failure to maintain control and serious injury by vehicle. Once the victim died, a charge of vehicular homicide was added. The man is currently being held in the Polk County jail. It is not known whether he was offered bail or not.

While no amount of money will bring back the innocent victim who lost his life in the accident, his family may be able to pursue the accused in civil court. In a situation like this, they may be eligible to receive money to help defray the medical bills incurred prior to the man's death as well as other damages and losses.

Source: KCCI News 8, "Charges upgraded as man dies after car vs. motorcycle crash" Laura Nichols, Apr. 10, 2014

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