Officials investigating the motorcycle crash that killed former University of Texas football star Cedric Benson and a passenger said Wednesday that they likely will need several weeks before fully understanding what happened.
Detectives are trying to learn what Benson and the driver of a white minivan who collided with him at RM 2222 and Mount Bonnell Road were doing in the hours before the Saturday night crash. As in any case involving a traffic fatality, they are trying to interview people who were with the drivers and examine receipts from any establishments they visited, said Austin police Lt. Jon Ippolito, who supervises the Police Department’s highway enforcement division.
He said investigators also will likely perform a reenactment of the crash, using scientific data to learn how fast Benson’s motorcycle and the van were traveling at the moment of impact.
“That gives you the best idea of what the speeds were,” he said.
Officials have said that they think speed was a factor in the crash. Benson and 27-year-old Aamna Najam, who had received her Ph.D. in audiology from UT in May, died at the scene.
Najam was on the back of a BMW motorcycle driven by Benson when they crashed into the van, which police said was turning onto RM 2222. Her funeral was Monday in Houston.
Officials from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said Wednesday that they have opened a preliminary investigation into the crash, which they say is standard in fatality wrecks.
TABC spokesman Chris Porter said investigators are waiting for information from the Austin police investigation to learn whether either driver was intoxicated at the time and where they were before the crash.
Porter said such information can prompt a TABC investigation into whether an establishment followed regulations and laws regarding how much alcohol it serves customers.