Wrong way driver now faces vehicular homicide charge after fatal collision determined to be suicide attempt


An Iowa City man now faces a vehicular homicide charge after a fatal accident last month was determined to be a suicide attempt.

The Iowa State Patrol says 32-year-old Stephen Lucore of Oakcrest Street was driving eastbound in the westbound lane of Interstate 80 between Oxford and Tiffin around 9:30pm on June 16th when his 2013 Hyundai Sonata collided head-on with a 2016 Honda driven by 31-year-old David Sawyer of Frisco, Texas.  A third vehicle, a 2015 Nissan driven by 34-year-old Michael Griffin of Memphis Tennessee, struck the crash debris.

A passenger in the Honda, 64-year-old Robert Sawyer of Nocona Texas, was flown to the UIHC and later died from his injuries. Another passenger in Sawyer’s vehicle, 58-year-old Mercedes Quevas, was also airlifted to the UIHC for her injuries. David Sawyer, the driver, did not require hospitalization.

Lucore has now been charged with Vehicular Homicide and Serious Injury By Vehicle.

The accident investigation determined that Lucore intentionally drove the wrong way on the Interstate, intentionally accelerated to 80 miles per hour with his headlights off, and tracking data shows he intentionally swerved into Sawyer’s vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt, and allegedly told first responders that he was trying to kill himself.

If convicted on all charges, Lucore faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. A preliminary hearing is set for July 22nd.

Lucore has been in the Johnson County Jail since his release from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on July 1st. Online records show investigators knew on that date that felony charges stemming from the crash were imminent. Lucore was also charged with a probation violation relating to an earlier Domestic Abuse Assault conviction from 2017.