In 2015, 38 percent or 123 of Iowa’s 320 traffic fatalities were caused by drivers who were either impaired by alcohol, drugs or both, according to Iowa DOT data. The year before, 34 percent of traffic fatalities were caused by impaired drivers. Sadly, the recent accident which resulted in the death of two Des Moines police officers, their passenger and another driver is now attributed to yet another case of drunk driving.
On Wednesday, state officials released new information revealing that Benjamin Edward Beary, 25, of Knoxville, was driving 102 miles per hour and had a blood-alcohol concentration of .223 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of .08. Beary’s Ford Taurus struck a Ford Explorer in a wrong-way, head-on collision on the interstate killing Des Moines Police Officers Carlos Puente-Morales and Susan Farrell along with their passenger, Tosha Nicole Hyatt. Beary was also killed.
Although Beary had no restrictions on his license at the time of the crash, court records show several arrests for alcohol-related offenses including driving while intoxicated. While there are some questions regarding whether criminal charges will be brought against the drinking establishment that served Beary alcohol in the hours preceding the horrific car accident, it is unlikely for charges to be brought against a bar that sold alcoholic drinks to a person who later was involved in an car accident under Iowa law.
Source: The Des Moines Register, “911 call: ‘Oh my God! There was a head-on accident”, by Kathy A. Bolten, April 27, 2016