A Perry man will be tried in Dallas County District Court in August in connection with the July 25, 2018, death of Wilbur Dickerson, 85, of Perry.
On that Wednesday afternoon, Dickerson had parked his vehicle on County Road P58 south of Perry about one-half mile north of the Raccoon River bridge. He was probably scouting for pop cans along the roadside ditch, an occupation at which he was often seen on the roads around Perry.
According to a report on the fatal accident by Iowa State Patrol Trooper Jon Salesberry, “Dickerson was standing on the southbound shoulder of P58 when a vehicle driven by Saul Tellez was northbound.”
It was the eve of Tellez’s 21st birthday, and the 2017 Ford Focus the Perry man was driving “crossed the centerline and struck Mr. Dickerson on the far shoulder, killing him.”
According to Salesberry, Tellez “claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and lost control.”
Nine months later, on March 27, 2019, the Iowa State Patrol requested a warrant be issued, and Tellez was charged with driving on the wrong side of the road and failure to maintain control. Each of the scheduled violations carries a fine of $195.
The Dallas County Attorney’s office gave Tellez notice April 3, 2019, that enhanced penalties and additional penalties would be sought in the case because “a scheduled violation is not applicable as punishment to Defendant because of a death involved in the collision.”
The charge was enhanced to a simple misdemeanor, according to court records, which is punishable by “a fine of $1,000 and/or the suspension of Defendant’s driver’s license or operating privileges or both a fine of $1,000 and suspension of driver’s license or operating privileges.”
Tellez did not request a trial by jury, and Dallas County Magistrate Jonathan M. Kimple ordered July 16 “that this case must be tried by a non-jury trial.” Tellez’s non-jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Dallas County Courthouse.
Tellez shows several prior moving violations on his record, including convictions for speeding and failure to secure a child in February 2015, speeding in March 2016 and driving without a license in October 2016.
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.