116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda died Tuesday, five days after crashing his patrol car while responding to a call in northeast Iowa.
“The men and women of the Iowa State Patrol and Department of Public Safety are heartbroken to announce the loss of one of our own, Trooper Ted Benda ISP #313,” according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
Benda, who had been with the Iowa State Patrol since 2016 and before that with the Division of Criminal Investigation since 2005, leaves behind his wife, Holly, and four young children, the State Patrol reported.
Benda, 37, was assisting the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office with a call for service around 11:30 p.m. Thursday when he was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 51, about six miles north of Postville, the State Patrol reported last week.
Benda was airlifted to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., where he was in critical condition for several days.
State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla said Friday he does not know how the crash occurred, but Benda was driving at high speed to respond to the call for service. Benda had not yet arrived at the call site when the crash happened, and Dinkla believes a passerby called 911.
The collision is under investigation.
Benda joined the DCI in 2005, assigned to the Special Enforcement Operations Bureau in Marquette. He transferred to the State Patrol in 2016, assigned to District 8 in Mason City and most recently working out of the District 10 office in Oelwein.
“He is not only a valuable part of the Department of Public Safety, but he was more importantly a loving husband, father, son and brother,” the State Patrol said. “Please keep the Benda family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this unimaginable loss.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds said she was “deeply saddened” by Benda’s death.
“Kevin and I join with Iowans in mourning the loss of this dedicated servant and we keep his family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters in uniform in our thoughts and prayers as they cope with this devastating loss,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “Tragic events like this are a somber reminder of how precious life is and of the unwavering, selfless sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day."
Flags in Iowa will be ordered to be flown at half-staff on the day of Trooper Benda’s funeral, which has not yet been set.
Benda isn’t the first trooper to die in the line of duty this year. Sgt. Jim Smith was fatally shot in a standoff in Grundy County on April 9. Michael Thomas Lang has been charged with first-degree murder in that case and is scheduled for trial in June.
The State Patrol ended the news release with “Rest in peace, Trooper Benda … we have your 6 from here,” a military and police phrase that means “I’ve got your back.”
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