The Iowa State Patrol has released the results of the wrong way crash on Interstate 80 on March 26th that killed two Des Moines Police officers, a prisoner they were transporting, and the wrong way driver.
Investigators say Benjamin Beary was traveling 102 miles per hour westbound in the eastbound lane when his car hit the Des Moines Police unit head-on near the Waukee exit. The crash happened just beyond the crest of a small hill, and investigators believe the officers did not see Beary's car until just before impact. Toxicology reports indicate that Beary's blood alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was 0.223% and he had recently used marijuana.
State Patrol investigators say Beary entered I-80 at the Grand Prairie Parkway interchange and headed westbound in the eastbound lanes. The interchange is properly marked, and investigators concluded Beary's high level of impairment resulted in him driving the wrong way on the interstate.
Beary's family issued a statement on the investigator's findings through Des Moines attorney Gary Dickey. The statement reads: "Our family is deeply saddened by the circumstances surrounding the accident that took the lives of Carlos Puente-Morales, Susan Farrell, Tosha Nicole Hyatt, and Ben Beary himself. In our hearts we had hoped for a different explanation for the night's events. But the reality is that Ben's level of intoxication led a good person to make a choice that left a wake of grief for our family and, unforgivably, three others as well. Nothing can excuse the mistakes Ben made that night and our hearts are broken with the knowledge that he caused so much sorrow. To love, we must love the whole person, not just what is easy or convenient. Our family will always love and remember Ben, but it is difficult to accept that the person we will remember is also the one who caused this heartache to our community."
"No one will ever count the number of times he made the safe choice, because this time he didn't, and that's all that matters now. It only takes one time, one mistake, to change the course of your life. Please protect yourself, protect your loved ones and those who could be left in your wake; make a plan before you drink so you are never in a situation where you might drive. No one wishes more than we do that Ben had done that on March 26th."