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Univ. of Northern Iowa Student Killed by Drunken Driver

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FARLEY, Iowa - A University of Northern Iowa student has been identified as the person killed over the weekend after being hit by a vehicle while walking on Highway 20.

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office said 21-year-old Dawson Besler, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa originally from Epworth, was struck and killed early Sunday on Highway 20 near Farley.

Authorities said a vehicle driven by Alex Hannan, 24, of Dubuque, was merging onto the highway around 3 a.m. Sunday when it struck Besler.

Besler was pronounced dead at the scene. He was on the travel portion of the ramp in the eastbound lane. It's unclear why he was on foot in the area.

UNI President Bill Ruud sent an email message on Monday, informing the campus of the loss. Besler was majoring in business management and was about to take a trip to South Africa with his Organizational Management class the day after graduation.

Hannan was not injured in the crash. But he faces a charge of operating while intoxicated.

The State Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny is conducting an autopsy. Authorities said they were not releasing further details on Tuesday afternoon.

Visitation for Besler will be 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Reiff Funeral Home in Epworth. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick's Church in Epworth. The university will send condolences to the family.

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