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Driver Charged in Willow River Drowning Death

The driver of an SUV that ended up in the Kettle River has been charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide for the drowning death of a 47-year-old Willow River man.

According to the criminal complaint, Preston Paul Prokasky was under the influence of methamphetamine when he intentionally tried to cross the river in his Ford Escape along with the victim and Gerald Darkow Jr.

The complaint went onto say that when the vehicle entered the water, the victim rolled up his window and told the other he could not swim. As the vehicle started to sink, Prokasky and Darkow escaped out of the driver's side window. The two men never saw the victim make it out of the car.

The deputy who responded to the incident first noted that there was no natural path to the river as a sharp rock drop off separated the sandy area from the water.

Prokasky was charged Wednesday by the Pine County Attorney's Office with one count of Criminal Vehicular Homicide - Operating a Motor Vehicle in a Grossly Negligent Manner and a second count of Criminal Vehicular Homicide - Operating a Vehicle with any amount of a Schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance.

Both charges are a felony offense and carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Prokasky is due back in Pine County Court on September 24.

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