Officials with the Des Moines Police Department have released the identity of two officers who died this (Saturday) morning during a fiery, head-on crash with a vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 80, near Waukee. During a Press Conference, Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said the Officers were 30-year old Susan Farrell and 34-year old Carlos Puente-Morales.
Officer photos courtesy of the Des Moines Police Department.
Both had graduated from the Des Moines Police Academy in Oct. 2015. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the officers are the 21st and 22nd from the Des Moines Police Department to die in the line of duty, going back to the 1890’s.
The officers were transporting 32-year old Tosha Nichole Hyatt, of Des Moines, who was wanted on a felony warrant. Hyatt was being brought from Council Bluffs to Des Moines at around 12:40-a.m., when a Ford Taurus traveling west in the eastbound lanes of I-80, collided with the eastbound Des Moines Police Dept. SUV at around mile marker 117. Both officers were wearing their seat belts, but it’s not clear if the prisoner was strapped-in.
The Des Moines Police Department SUV came to rest in the median while the Ford Taurus came to rest on the interstate. The first Iowa State Patrol arrived on scene within minutes, and advised that a car was fully engulfed in flames.
The driver of the Ford Taurus and the three people in the Des Moines Police Department SUV were all pronounced dead at the scene. The interstate remained closed for several hours while emergency crews were on the scene. The names of the prisoner and driver of the Taurus were being withheld pending notification of family.
All four deceased individuals were taken to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny where autopsies will be performed this weekend. Autopsy results could take several weeks.The crash remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.
Agencies responding to the scene included the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa State Patrol Division (ISP), Waukee Police Department, Waukee Fire Department, West Des Moines Fire Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Dallas County Medical Examiner, assisted by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.