UT student, alumnus killed in car accident

Sarah White

Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a car crash that killed a UT student, a UT alumnus and one other person earlier this month.

UT senior Kaat Debeuckelaer, 21, was killed in a high-speed car accident with her boyfriend, 23-year-old UT alumnus Kenneth Lark, and driver Ronald Eddins, a 41-year-old lawyer from Southlake, Texas on the morning of Jan. 4.

The single vehicle accident occurred at Las Colinas canal near Irving, Texas between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. Irving Police were contacted at 2:45 p.m. regarding a damaged guard rail and vehicle debris near Northwest Highway (Spur 348) and Riverside Drive.

The Lewisville Fire Department dive team retrieved a submerged 2010 Porsche Panamera with two passengers in the front seats still wearing seatbelts, said John Argumaniz, spokesman for the Irving Police Department. Police confirmed the passengers were Debeuckelaer and Eddins. After receiving witness reports that there had been three passengers in the car, divers returned Thursday morning to retrieve Lark’s body.

All three passengers died of multiple blunt force injuries and trauma, Argumaniz said.

Argumaniz said police believe that excessive speed was the major factor in the accident but are still determining if drugs or alcohol were involved.

“We are still waiting on toxicology reports,” Argumaniz said. “The timeline depends almost completely on the medical examiner’s lab. We could have the results in as early as two weeks, or they could take up to a month.”

He said that Irving police are still trying to piece together the events leading up to the accident.

Debeucklaer’s mother posted a message on Facebook at 2:16 a.m. on Jan. 5, reporting her daughter missing. Debeucklaer had attended a hockey game with Lark at the American Airlines Center in Dallas that evening.

After the hockey game, witnesses saw the couple having drinks with Eddins at the Copeland’s of New Orleans Bar, located inside the Hilton Hotel in Southlake, said Argumaniz. From Southlake, they left for The Men’s Club in Dallas at 2340 Northwest Highway in Eddin’s Porsche and arrived between midnight and 1 a.m.

“Witnesses have all three [passengers] leaving the men’s club between 2:45 and 3 in the morning,” Argumaniz said. “We also have a resident near the vicinity of the accident who reported hearing a loud crash at about 2:55, which he described as sounding something like a dumpster falling over.”

“We do not know where they were going for sure,” Argumaniz said, “but they were traveling west at the time of the accident which might indicate that they were headed back to Southlake.”

Argumaniz said that police officials are still investigating the particulars of the crash, including what caused Eddins to leave the roadway and the speed at which he was driving.