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Iowa family seek answers after wife dies in crash with friend behind the wheel

The new utility pole and parts of the old one tell only fragments of the story because they were located near Southeast Vandalia Drive in Pleasant Hill. Bailey Moureau’s family tries to fill these little things with answers. “It changed me forever,” said her mother, Deb. “Once I get justice, I’ll have peace of mind.” Bailey was in a car with her boyfriend when records show his white Chevy Silverado pickup truck made an abrupt left turn, went over the center line and ran into a utility pole with no obvious skid marks. Bailey was taken to the hospital and died two weeks later. “They did all these scans,” said her sister, Hannah Ellis. “She was brain dead. From that point there was no going back.” Moureau’s death certificate shows that she died from blunt force head injuries as a result of the accident Bailey’s mother, Deb. According to the police accident report, the driver told police the two had been arguing when Bailey jerked the steering wheel to the left, causing him to lose control. “If she did, it would have pulled to the right,” Deb said. He was also taken to the hospital but was abandoned before he was admitted, according to court records. According to a Des Moines police report, he allegedly hit Bailey several times on the back of the head two days earlier. He was charged with domestic violence. The charges against him were not filed until five days after the accident, according to Polk County court records. A protective order was filed ten days after the crash and 12 days after the domestic violence charges were filed. When this protective order was served, Bailey was already in the hospital after the crash and died a week later. He later admitted to arguing with her and pushing her, causing a red mark as an injury. He received a deferred sentence. Pleasant Hill Police are still investigating the accident. Records of the search warrant show they confiscated the couple’s cellphones and so-called “black box” features of the Silverado they were in. Police say data is key to solving the case, telling them steering position, braking, speed and more. “What will the box tell us?” said Pleasant Hill Police Chief Amy Kramer. “These are the definitive answers we are waiting for.” The state lab examining the black box is secure and could take months, police say. According to the search warrant, OnStar readings show the driver was wearing a seat belt, but Bailey was not. “She always wore a seat belt,” Deb Moureau said. “She wasn’t wearing her seat belt that day?” In the meantime, the Moureau family wants answers. “We have to be their voice now,” added Deb Moureau. Police are investigating the friend for involuntary manslaughter by reckless driving, according to a search warrant on his truck, but no charges have been filed against him. KCCI Investigates does not name him because he was not charged with a felony in the crash investigation. The officer who searched the truck noted that he was aware of the domestic violence case against the friend two days earlier. “We know the family is looking for answers,” said Captain Kramer. “We are right there with them. This is a team effort and we are all looking for those answers.” The family hopes the roadside details, combined with the investigation, can piece together the puzzle of what happened that January day. Bailey’s former boyfriend declined comment via email from his attorney. Again, KCCI Investigates won’t give his name because he’s not charged with a felony related to the crash. Police ask that there are ways to seek help if you are in a domestic violence situation. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

The new utility pole and parts of the old one tell only fragments of the story because they were located near Southeast Vandalia Drive in Pleasant Hill. Bailey Moureau’s family tries to fill these little things with answers.

“It changed me forever,” said her mother, Deb. “Once I get justice, I have peace of mind.”

Bailey was in a car with her boyfriend when records show that his white Chevy Silverado pickup truck made an abrupt left turn, went over the center line and ran into a utility pole with no apparent skid marks.

Bailey was taken to the hospital and died two weeks later.

“They did all these scans,” said her sister, Hannah Ellis. “She was brain dead. There was no going back from that point.”

Moureau’s death certificate shows that she died from blunt force head injuries as a result of the accident.

“The police report says she grabbed the steering wheel, but that’s what he says,” said Bailey’s mother, Deb.

The police accident report states that the driver had told police the two were involved in an argument when Bailey jerked the steering wheel to the left, causing him to lose control.

“If she did, it would have pulled to the right,” Deb said.

He was also taken to the hospital but abandoned before he was admitted, according to court records. According to a Des Moines police report, he allegedly hit Bailey several times on the back of the head two days earlier. He was charged with domestic violence. The charges against him were not filed until five days after the accident, according to Polk County court records. A protective order was filed ten days after the crash and 12 days after the domestic violence charges were filed. When this protective order was served, Bailey was already in the hospital after the crash and died a week later. He later admitted to arguing with her and pushing her, causing a red mark as an injury. He received a deferred sentence.

Pleasant Hill Police are still investigating the accident. Records of the search warrant show they confiscated the couple’s cellphones and so-called “black box” features of the Silverado they were in. Police say data is key to solving the case, telling them steering position, braking, speed and more.

“What will the box tell us?” said Pleasant Hill Police Chief Amy Kramer. “These are the definitive answers we are waiting for.”

The state lab examining the black box is secure and could take months, police say. According to the search warrant, OnStar readings show the driver was wearing a seat belt, but Bailey was not.

“She always wore a seat belt,” Deb Moureau said. “She wasn’t wearing her seat belt that day?”

In the meantime, the Moureau family wants answers.

“We have to be their voice now,” added Deb Moureau.

Police are investigating the friend for involuntary manslaughter by reckless driving, according to a search warrant on his truck, but no charges have been filed against him. KCCI Investigates does not name him because he was not charged with a felony in the crash investigation. The officer who searched the truck noted that he was aware of the domestic violence case against the friend two days earlier.

“We know the family is looking for answers,” said Capt. Chandler. “We are right there with them. This is a full team effort and we are all looking for those answers.”

The family hopes the roadside pieces, along with the investigation, can piece together the puzzle of what happened that January day.

Bailey’s former boyfriend declined comment via email from his attorney. Again, KCCI Investigates won’t give his name because he’s not charged with a felony related to the crash.

Police ask that there are ways to seek help if you are in a domestic violence situation. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

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