INDIANOLA, Iowa --
An Iowa State Patrol trooper was killed in a crash on Highway 65/69 south of Indianola Tuesday afternoon.
The one-car crash was reported about 5:15 p.m. Authorities said trooper Mark Toney was preparing to make a traffic stop when he lost control of his vehicle and it rolled several times, landing in a field near the highway.
"What witnesses have told us is that the trooper was headed northbound with his top lights going, so he was in some kind of vehicle enforcement action," said Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa State Patrol. "Witnesses say the car then went off the side of the road, flipped a few times and then burst into flames."
Debris was scattered throughout a large grassy field east of the highway.
A woman living nearby said she heard a loud siren go suddenly and strangely silent, and when she looked out the window, she saw flames.
"It was completely engulfed," she said.
"It's probably one of the hardest things we have to do, process a scene of a fellow officer that most of the guys working here are out of the same district. They've had coffee stops with him, stopped for dinner with him. It hurts to see an officer killed in the line of duty," Bright said.
He said he has close personal ties to Toney.
"I worked with him for about five years. It's a sad day in the Iowa State Patrol," he said.
He said Toney was a husband, father and friend who loved his job.
"The times I had with him as a trooper. The times I worked with him. Like I said, I worked with him for five years. Just the special times we had working together," Bright said. "He loved the state patrol. And it's a real sad day for the Iowa State Patrol."
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. An autopsy is planned for Wednesday.
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