Report Released On Crash That Killed Two Police Officers, Two Others
The Iowa State Patrol has completed an extensive investigation into last month's accident near Waukee that left four people dead, including two Des Moines police officers.
According to investigators, Benjamin Beary was driving drunk at around 102 miles per hour when his car -- going the wrong way on Interstate 80 -- collided head-on with a Des Moines police SUV near the Waukee exit on March 26, 2016. Beary, 25, of Knoxville, was killed in the crash, along with officers Susan Farrell, 30, and Carlos Puente-Morales, 34. Also killed was Tosha Hyatt, 34, of Des Moines, a prisoner the officers were transporting from Council Bluffs.
The report shows the police vehicle was travelling approximately 79 miles per hour when the impact occurred. The interstate speed limit in that area is 70 mph, investigators said.
According to the report, toxicology results showed that Beary's blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was 0.223-percent, which is more than three times the legal limit to drive in Iowa. The report shows that Beary also had recently used marijuana.
The report released by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, shows investigations developed other conclusions, based on investigation gathered at the scene and examination of the two vehicles:
- Iowa State Patrol Technical Investigators determined that at the time of the crash, there was no braking by either vehicle. The crash occurred at 12:30 a.m. just beyond the crest of a small incline. Investigators believe that the Des Moines police officers could not see the on-coming Ford Taurus until just before impact.
- The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner concluded that the three occupants in the Des Moines police unit died from multiple blunt force injuries. The cause of death for Beary was determined to be from multiple blunt force injuries, thermal injuries, and smoke inhalation.
- Toxicology reports for the Des Moines officers were negative for alcohol and common illicit or prescription drugs.
- Based on the investigation, the Iowa State Patrol’s Technical Investigators concluded that Beary merged onto I-80 at the Grand Prairie Parkway interchange near Waukee, driving westbound on the eastbound lanes. According to authorities, the interchange is marked appropriately with signage and markings.
- Investigators concluded that Beary’s high-level of impairment resulted in him driving the wrong way on the interstate.