WAUKEE — Four people, including two Des Moines police officers, were killed in a vehicle crash early Saturday morning.
The accident was caused by a vehicle traveling the wrong way down Interstate 80.
Authorities received reports around 12:32 a.m. Saturday of a two-vehicle accident that happened on I-80 near the Waukee exit, according to a news release by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Police said a Ford Taurus was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes when it struck a Des Moines Police Department SUV head on.
The officers in the SUV, identified as Susan Farrell, 30, and Carlos Puente-Morales, 34, were killed in the crash. They were transferring a prisoner, identified as 32-year-old Tosha Nicole Hyatt, from Council Bluffs to Des Moines when the accident occurred.
Hyatt and the driver of the Taurus were also killed. The name of the driver will be released after their family has been notified.
Both officers graduated from the Des Moines Police Academy in October 2015, according to the release.
In a statement from the governor’s office, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds expressed their condolences.
“We’re learning that the crash took the lives of two young Des Moines police officers who dedicated their lives to protecting public safety and were killed in the line of duty. Chris and I wish to extend our sincere sympathies to the families of everyone impacted in this horrific accident,” Branstad said in the statement.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
“I’m heartbroken to hear this morning of a tragic vehicle crash involving two fallen police officers from the Des Moines Police Department,” wrote Reynolds. “On this celebration of Easter, it’s very difficult to comprehend how young lives can be taken so quickly. Kevin and I wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to all of the families affected by this terrible crash.”
Branstad will issue a statement later in the week on lowering flags statewide to half-staff.
The accident remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.