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Hero Down: Iowa State Trooper Ted Benda Dies After On-Duty Crash

La Crosse, WI – Iowa State Patrol (ISP) Trooper Ted Benda died in the line of duty on Wednesday due to injuries he suffered in a crash six days prior.

The Iowa Department of Safety (DPS) said the 37-year-old trooper was responding assist the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) with a wanted suspect when he crashed his patrol vehicle on Iowa 51 near Postville, the Des Moines Register reported.

The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation, according to The Gazette.

Trooper Benda was airlifted to a hospital in La Crosse, where he remained until his death on Oct. 20, the ISP said in a press release.

“The men and women of the Iowa State Patrol and Department of Public Safety are heartbroken to announce the loss of one of our own, Trooper Ted Benda ISP #313,” the ISP said. “Please keep the Benda family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this unimaginable loss. Rest in Peace, Trooper Benda…we have your 6 from here.”

Trooper Benda joined Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in 2005 and was assigned to the Special Enforcement Operations Bureau in Marquette, according to his agency.

He transferred to the ISP in 2016 and was assigned to District 8 in Mason City before later serving District 10 in Oelwein.

“He is not only a valuable part of the Department of Public Safety, but was more importantly a loving husband, father, son, and brother,” the ISP said.

Trooper Benda leaves behind his wife, Holly, and their four young children.

Their youngest daughter was born less than a month ago, according to The Waukon Standard.

He is also survived by “many family, friends, and colleagues,” the ISP said.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds ordered flags be flown at half-staff on the yet-to-be-determined-date of Trooper Benda’s memorial service, the Des Moines Register reported.

“Kevin and I join with Iowans in mourning the loss of this dedicated servant and we keep his family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters in uniform in our thoughts and prayers as they cope with this devastating loss,” Reynolds said in a statement.

“Tragic events like this are a somber reminder of how precious life is and of the unwavering, selfless sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day,” the governor added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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