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Prairie City News

Gonzales charged with vehicular homicide in death of Prairie City man

Two died in Dec crash on I-80

Gonzales
Gonzales

The man allegedly responsible for the death of a Prairie City man in a late December car accident on Interstate 80 in Polk County has been charged with vehicular homicide.

Travis Gonzales, a 37-year-old Bondurant resident, has been charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle — OWI, two counts of homicide by vehicle — reckless driving and one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. According to an Iowa State Patrol press release, Gonzales was arrested Tuesday and transported to Polk County Jail.

Joshua Lamont Cox, 24, of Prairie City was pronounced dead after a motor vehicle accident Dec. 29 near Des Moines.

Cox was the passenger of a 2016 Ford Focus, driven by 22-year-old Des Moines resident Austin Gainuss. It was rear-ended and spun off the road into a tree at 10:08 p.m. on Interstate 80 near mile-marker 139, according to a crash report from Iowa State Patrol.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig told the Newton Daily News in the immediate aftermath of the accident, the vehicle that caused the accident was speeding.

“They were both traveling westbound and the vehicle was going at a higher rate of speed and the other vehicle went down into a ditch and hit a tree,” Ludwig said.

Iowa State Patrol confirmed Gainuss also died from injuries sustained in the crash. The vehicle that struck them from behind was a 2018 GMC pickup truck, driven by Gonzales.

Iowa State Patrol led the investigation at the scene and was assisted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Altoona EMS and the Ankeny Fire Department. Gainuss was transported by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.

Contact Orrin Shawl at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 
or oshawl@newtondailynews.com

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