DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was just one month ago that four families, the law enforcement community and Iowans everywhere were mourning the loss of four people killed in a head-on crash on I-80.
The Iowa State Patrol announced Wednesday the cause of the March 26 fatal crash that killed Ben Beary, Tosha Hyatt and Des Moines Police Officers Carlos Puente-Morales and Susan Farrell.
Authorities say Beary had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit when he drove the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of I-80 and crashed into the SUV carrying Hyatt and the officers. Toxicology tests show that Beary's blood alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was 0.223%. The report also showed Beary had recently used marijuana.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said there is no one to be angry at in this situation.
The Beary family released this statement shortly after the official report was released, reading in part:
“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."
Parizek said anyone could have written that, meaning that everyone who knew the victims feel the same heartache as Beary's family.
"We feel the exact same with the loss. There’s nobody to be angry at here, " Parizek said. "We work to control our emotions. That’s part of making us successful and effective in the jobs that we do. We understand that anger is not an option. It's not productive, it's not going to fix anything. That family is hurting also. Tosha Hyatt's family is hurting, as well as the officers' families and us [law enforcement]. Essentially you have five families, when you talk about the extended police family, that have been impacted by this."
Parizek said anger is a useless emotion in this situation.
The autopsy is just one piece of the puzzle for closure for the Des Moines Police Department.
"Time is what's going to heal us," Parizek said.
He thanked the Iowa State Patrol for their efforts in the investigation.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: End of Watch