DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State Patrol announced on Wednesday afternoon that State Trooper Ted Benda, 37, died due to injuries sustained during a single-vehicle crash in the line of duty last Thursday.
Benda was assisting Clayton County Sheriff’s Office with a wanted suspect when the crash occurred on State Highway 51 six miles north of Postville. He was airlifted to Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wisc., arriving in critical condition.
Benda joined the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation in 2005, assigned to the Special Enforcement Operations Bureau in Marquette. He transferred to the Iowa State Patrol in 2016 and was assigned to District 8 in Mason City. He most recently worked out of the District 10 office in Oelwein.
Benda leaves behind his wife, Holly, their four young children, and many family, friends, and colleagues.
A spokesperson for the Iowa State Patrol encouraged Iowans to keep Benda’s family in their thoughts and prayers.
Several elected officials offered their condolences.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Iowa State Patrol Trooper Ted Benda,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a released statement. “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. 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.”
“I am devastated that Trooper Ted Benda has passed away. Trooper Benda has deep roots in Waukon and has dedicated his professional life to protecting our community through his service with the Iowa Department of Public Safety and as a State Trooper. Matt and I are sending our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers during this time,” U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, who represents the congressional district where the crash occurred, said in a released statement.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, called the news heartbreaking.
“This is heartbreaking news. I’m praying for the colleagues and loved ones of Iowa State Trooper Ted Benda during this incredibly difficult time. I’m forever grateful to Trooper Benda and all of Iowa’s heroes in law enforcement for their service & sacrifice in the line of duty,” she tweeted.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also responded.
“Barbara & I are praying for his family. Our law enforcement officials risk their lives to keep us safe each day & (their) work goes well beyond keeping the peace/they tackle almost any crisis that comes up,” he tweeted.
U.S. Rep. Mariannette MIller-Meeks, R-Iowa, tweeted that Benda served Iowa “honorably and courageously” adding her thoughts and prayers were with his family.
“I’m saddened to hear Trooper Ted Benda has passed away… May God Bless his family, friends, colleagues, and all those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, tweeted.
Flags in Iowa will be ordered to be flown at half-staff on the day of Trooper Benda’s funeral. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
The accident is still under investigation.