POLK COUNTY -- A criminal complaint has been filed against the male driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash in Polk County, WI on February 23, 2020.

A press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office stated that a truck pulling a trailer collided with a sedan, resulting in one fatality.

Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the crash and spoke to the male driver of the truck, a Chevrolet Silverado, which was located in the ditch. The man, identified as Michael Barkema, of Klemme, IA, told Deputies that he and the two adult female passengers in his vehicle were not injured.

The second vehicle involved in the crash, a red Saturn Ion, was located in the middle of the roadway, and had sustained heavy front end damage. The Polk County Medical Examiner pronounced the adult female driver of the Saturn deceased at the scene of the crash. The name of the deceased was not included in the probable cause report.

Barkema told Deputies that he had been traveling north-bound on 202nd St., and that he was attempting to turn left onto E. Cedar Lake Rd., when his vehicle collided with the Saturn which was traveling south-bound. He went on to tell Deputies that he and his passengers had been in Hayward, WI and were traveling to a cabin for the night. He also stated that they had stopped in Cumberland, WI.

While speaking with Barkema, Deputies noticed an odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his breath; Barkema’s speech was also slurred and his eyes were blood-shot and glossy according to a probable cause report from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies conducted field sobriety tests with Barkema and observed several clues of impairment, according to the probable cause report. During the testing, Barkema allegedly told Deputies that he had consumed one or two beers prior to the crash.

A preliminary breath test was conducted on Barkema, with a result of 0.28. Barkema was taken into custody, and transported to the Osceola Medical Center for a sample to be taken of his blood for testing. Results of that testing were not included in the probable cause report.

Barkema is charged with Class D Felony Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle. He made an initial appearance on his charges today in Polk County Circuit Court while in custody, and was placed on a $5,000 cash bail bond. A preliminary examination hearing is scheduled for Barkema in March 2020.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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