Arrest Made in Fatal Accident Investigation
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444
On 8/29/19 at approximately 7:48 PM, the Dubuque Police Department responded to the East 16th Street entrance ramp to the northbound lanes of US Highway 61/151 for the report of a motorcycle accident. Officers arrived on scene and observed a 2004 Kawasaki motorcycle on its side.
The driver of the motorcycle was identified as Shannon Christopher Katka (40) of Dubuque. The passenger of the motorcycle was identified as Shelly Lynn Brenke (43) also of Dubuque.
Katka was traveling north on the entrance ramp when he lost control causing him and Brenke to be ejected from the motorcycle.
Katka was transported to Unity Point Finley Hospital for medical treatment by the Dubuque Fire Department. Brenke was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Iowa State Patrol responded to conduct a technical accident investigation of the scene.
Katka showed signs of intoxication and admitted to drinking alcohol. Dubuque Police Officers applied for a search warrant to obtain a blood specimen from Katka. A search warrant was issued and served. The blood specimen collected was analyzed at the Iowa Department of Public Safety Criminalistics Laboratory and showed that Katka had an ethyl alcohol concentration of 0.100 g/100 mL (.10 blood alcohol concentration).
Brenke's autopsy, conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health, lists the cause of Brenke's death as blunt force injuries of the head and neck and the manner of her death as an accident.
A warrant was issued for Katka on 01/22/20 for Homicide by Vehicle – Operating Under the Influence, a Class B Felony. A Class B Felony is punishable by no more than 25 years in prison.
Katka was arrested on his warrant on 01/22/20 at 1:14 p.m. by the Albert Lee, MN Police Department and was transported to the Freeborn County Jail.
As with any criminal case, the charges filed are allegations and any suspects are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.