[UPDATED] Names Released in Linn County Crash That Killed Two
An early afternoon pursuit in Linn County on Wednesday ended just before a crash that resulted in two fatalities.
[UPDATE Thursday, September 9, 4:45 PM] The Linn County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the two people killed in a Wednesday afternoon accident near Walford. The victims have been identified as 35-year-old Leo A. Ray and 35-year-old Stacey L. Watts. Ray was driving the vehicle, and Watts was a passenger. Both were from Cedar Rapids.
[ORIGINAL STORY] According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the area around 80th Street and Highway 100 just after noon Wednesday afternoon. A man who was driving a Nissan Altima, and a female passenger, were reportedly engaged in a domestic disturbance with the woman trying to jump from the vehicle.
When a deputy arrived, they saw the vehicle driving south on 80th St., north of E Avenue. The woman was still in the vehicle, which the Linn County Sheriff's Office says was traveling "at excessive speed." The Deputy attempted to stop the car, and when that didn't happen, a pursuit began.
The Linn County Sheriff's Deputy pursued the car on 80th St. to E Cemetery Road in Fairfax. It then went west to Highway 151 southbound. After only a few minutes, the media release states "the Deputy determined the driver of the suspect vehicle was operating too recklessly and terminated the pursuit near the intersection of Hwy 151 and Wright Brothers Blvd."
Unfortunately, only about one minute after the pursuit ended, the Deputy saw debris in the air from a distance. The Deputy then went to the crash scene where it is believed the Nissan drove into oncoming traffic before losing control and being struck by a northbound dump truck. The accident, nearly head-on, blocked both lanes of traffic on Highway 151, just north of Walford. The roadway was closed for several hours but has since reopened.
Both people in the Nissan Altima were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have not been released, pending notification of relatives.
The driver of the dump truck was not injured.
The Iowa State Patrol continues to investigate the accident.