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Prairie City News

Man charged in with vehicular homicide of Prairie City resident released

Travis Gonzales
Travis Gonzales

The driver allegedly responsible for the death of a Prairie City man has been released from the Polk County Jail.

According to Polk County Court officials, Travis Gonzales, a 37-year-old Bondurant resident, was released from jail Tuesday. The release came the same day a judge altered Gonzales’ bond, allowing the suspect to pay with cash or surety. The amount remained the same at $405,000. It is a pre-trial release, officials said. Attorneys of Gonzales requested the bond amount be reduced to $100,000.

Gonzales will have his next court appearance at 8:30 a.m. March 1.

Gonzales’ was charged in the deaths of two Iowa men, one of whom was Prairie City resident Joshua Lamont Cox, 24. He was pronounced dead after a motor vehicle accident Dec. 29 on Interstate 80 in Polk County near Des Moines.

Cox was in a 2016 Ford Focus, driven by 22-year-old Des Moines resident Austin Gainuss, who was later pronounced dead at a Des Moines hospital. Their vehicle was rear-ended and spun off the road into a tree at 10:08 p.m. near mile-marker 139, according to a crash report from Iowa State Patrol.

The cause of the crash was Gonzales’ speed and drunk driving, according to Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig.

“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 after the investigation of the aftermath of the accident was complete. Gonzales was driving a 2018 GMC pickup truck.

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.

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

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