Complaint: Man High on Meth Kills Passenger While Driving Through Kettle River

43-year-old charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide

DULUTH, Minn.- A Willow River man is facing two counts of vehicular homicide after driving through a river while on meth, killing one of his passengers, according to the complaint.

Two formal charges of criminal vehicular homicide have been filed against him, one for operating a vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance in his body. No bail has been set at this time.

On Monday Pine County authorities were dispatched to an area of River Run Road in Willow River on a report of a vehicle submerged.

“They reported some people in the water that were yelling for help initially,” said Pine County Chief Deputy Paul Windestrom, “and then some additional info came in that there was someone still within the car.”

Court documents say the driver, 43-year-old Preston Prokasky was high on meth and for whatever reason, drove through the river, trapping 47-year-old Eugene Oesterich inside.

“And that was confirmed when he was recovered, he was within in the car,” Windestrom said. “Deceased, yes.”

Prokasky told authorities he thought he could make it across the river in his 2004 Ford Escape because he didn’t think the river was that deep.

Right before driving into the river, the other passenger who escaped the submerged car told Preston Prokasky not to do it, and to let him out.

Prokasky insisted he could make it across the water. Once he drove in, Oesterich said he couldn’t swim and rolled up his window.

Windestrom hasn’t seen anything like it, he said.

“I’m trying to think back all the years that I’ve been here I mean we heard of vehicles that have gone through the ice, or y’know, partially dropped through.”

Prokasky was arrested at his residence, he made his first appearance in court on Wednesday and is due back September 24th.

“If you need some help with illicit drug usage here on, let’s get somebody to help you as soon as you can to get off of it,” said Windestrom.

“This is what can happen.”

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