Public Safety

Cedar Rapids woman smoked marijuana before fatal crash, authorities say

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids woman, charged in the fatal crash that killed two people last year, had marijuana in her system, according to court documents.

A blood sample taken from Brianna E. Stastny, 23, of Mount Vernon, after the Sept 29, 2017, crash on Highway 151 near Wright Brothers Boulevard showed she was under the influence of marijuana. Authorities also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Stastny’s purse.

Stastny admitted at the time that it was possible she smoked marijuana before the crash that night and that she frequently smoked the drug at that time, the criminal complaint shows.

The test results indicate the amount of marijuana in her system was consistent with her smoking marijuana near the time of the crash, according to the complaint. A reconstructionist said there was no other reasonable explanation for the crash or driving maneuver other than impaired and/or reckless driving.

Stastny was charged last month with two counts of vehicular homicide while being under the influence of drugs and two counts of vehicular homicide while driving in a reckless manner. She is accused of unintentionally causing the death of Kaelonnie Moore, 22, and Darla Moander, 43, both of Cedar Rapids, while under the influence of drugs and while driving in a “reckless manner with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety” of others.

Stastny attempted to pass two vehicles, a car and bus, while going north on Highway 151, according to the complaint. Stastny was going about 81 mph when her car struck a vehicle headed south driven by Moander, who died at the scene. Stastny’s passenger, Moore, also died upon impact.

An accident reconstruction report shows there was no evidence of Stastny braking at the time of impact, according to the complaint

Stastny was treated for injuries at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

If convicted, she faces 25 years on each charge of vehicular homicide and 10 years for each reckless driving charge. 

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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