Charges elevated to vehicular homicide for Des Moines resident who hit and killed motorcyclist

21-year-old Des Moines, Iowa resident Jacob Phipps, who was initially taken into police custody on charges of operating while intoxicated (first offense), open container, serious injury by vehicle, and failure to maintain control, is now facing charges of vehicular homicide after 51-year-old Michael Harden, also a Des Moines local and the motorcyclist that Phipps hit with his vehicle, died on Tuesday, April 8.

The accident occurred between Phipps and Harden, who was riding a motorcycle, on East 30th Street and Dean Avenue on Saturday, March 29 at around 6:35 p.m. Harden was rushed to Mercy Medical Center to receive treatment for serious injuries, and passed away a little more than a week later. According to the police, Phipps had a blood alcohol level of .182% at the time of the crash, and they also reported that a bottle of vodka was found inside his vehicle.

Our thoughts go out to Harden’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time.


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