Public Safety

Victims identified in Saturday I-380 crash

Photo of the Cedar Rapids Police Department vehicle that was involved in a crash on I-380 in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 26, 2016. Both officers involved in the crash survived with minor injuries. (Contributed by Cedar Rapids Police Department Facebook Page)
Photo of the Cedar Rapids Police Department vehicle that was involved in a crash on I-380 in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 26, 2016. Both officers involved in the crash survived with minor injuries. (Contributed by Cedar Rapids Police Department Facebook Page)
/

CEDAR RAPIDS - Two Cedar Rapids residents have been identified as the victims in a fatal crash on Interstate 380 early Saturday morning.

Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said 21-year-old Martell D. Watson was the driver of a Cadillac CTS Sedan that crashed into a Cedar Rapids police Ford Explorer around 2:48 a.m. Saturday. Police said 22-year-old Kaitlyn M. Hall-Stougard was a passesnger in Watson’s vehicle. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Cedar Rapids police were investigating a crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 380 near the First Avenue West exit around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Two officers were in a marked police SUV when they were hit behind by Watson.

Buelow said Monday that preliminary information indicates Watson was on the inside lane of I-380 when he lost control, began sliding sideways, crossed three lanes of traffic and hit the police vehicle in the far right shoulder of the roadway.

The police officers were injured in the collision, but have since been released from the hospital. Authorities said the officers were wearing seat belts, which prevented major injuries.

Accident re-constructionists are still trying to piece together what caused the crash. Buelow said the roadway was wet at the time of the collision and frost could have been present. Investigators will also try to determine if a medical condition or mechanical issue was a factor in the crash.

“It is a completely open investigation because everything will be factored in,” Buelow said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Autopsies will be done on the victims, which will also include toxicology screens. The investigation will remain open until the autopsy and toxicology reports are complete, which can take several weeks.

“It will be an ongoing investigation for a period of time pending those results,” Buelow said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.