Thousands honored Des Moines officer and Army veteran during funeral

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 2,000 family, friends and public safety officers gathered at a West Des Moines church to honor one of two Des Moines police officers killed in a head-on crash.

It has been a difficult time for the family of Carlos Puente-Morales, who died with officer Susan Farrell Saturday in a crash with a wrong-way driver, the Des Moines Register reports.

During the Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Bishop Richard Pates acknowledged the family's great loss in the past 16 months. Puente-Morales' brother died in a November 2014 traffic accident and their father died months later.

The community has donated nearly $40,000 so far to a GoFundMe account to help the officers' families during this time, but police recommend any further donations be made to the  Des Moines Police Officers’ Credit Union, reports WHO.

Puente-Morales leaves behind a longtime girlfriend and three children.

Officer Puente-Morales was also an Army veteran, serving tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Puente-Morales had worked as an officer in Ottumwa before moving to Des Moines police.

A prisoner being transported by the officers and the other driver were also killed.

Visitation for prisoner Tasha Hyatt, 32, was also held Friday, April 1. The mother of four's funeral will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at the Cutler-O’Neill-Meyer-Woodring Funeral Home in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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