The same day Mark Bettencourt found his girlfriend dead of an apparent drug overdose, he too died after his car crossed into oncoming traffic on State Route 92, striking a much larger vehicle head-on.
Autopsy reports released Wednesday show the Nov. 12 deaths of Bettencourt and Cecilia “CeCe” Clark were deemed accidental by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. Clark’s cause of death is attributed to “mixed drug intoxication” while Bettencourt died from blunt force injuries to his head and chest, according to the medical examiner.
Toxicology tests also show Bettencourt, 31, had significant amounts of methamphetamine, methadone, and Zanax in his blood. Those were the same drugs found in Clark’s system during her autopsy.
Public records obtained from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office show Clark, 22, was found by Bettencourt in his Hereford residence about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 12. She was full-dressed and lying on a sofa in the same position she was in when Bettencourt left for work the morning of Nov. 11, he told Deputy Austin Shaw.
The deputy’s report notes Bettencourt had just arrived home after getting a ride from another sheriff’s deputy for an undisclosed reason. Upon finding Clark, Bettencourt ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911, but the neighbor had a hard time understanding what Bettencourt was saying.
They both went back to Bettencourt’s residence and then called 911 after confirming Clark was dead. “Mark was sitting outside of the residence and was visibly upset and in shock about the situation,” Shaw noted, adding that Bettencourt was placed in a patrol car while emergency responders did their duties.
EMS personnel from Palominas Fire formally declared Clark deceased around 1:24 a.m. Shaw seized three prescription bottles and an Arizona Medical Marijuana card from among Clark’s belongings, along with drug paraphernalia.
The deputy tried to learn more from Bettencourt but was not very successful because Bettencourt “was observed to be somewhat incoherent,” according to Shaw’s report. “I noticed him dozing off several times in the back seat of my patrol car and almost seemed like he was unaware of what was going on.”
Clark’s body was removed from the residence at 3 a.m. after which Shaw and his supervisor left to notify her family. The deputy’s report makes no mention of whether medical assistance was arranged for Bettencourt before or whether Bettencourt was transported somewhere.
After meeting with Clark’s mother around 3:30 a.m., the next comment in Shaw’s report noted Bettencourt died later that day. It’s unclear whether other deputies had additional contact with Bettencourt before 5:30 p.m. when Bettencourt’s eastbound Honda Accord crossed the center line of SR 92 and into the path of a GMC pickup.
Bettencourt died at the scene, while the driver of the truck was transported to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The driver was later released from the hospital, a DPS spokesman said Wednesday.
A supplement to Shaw’s report was made Dec. 8 but it has not been cleared for public release, according to CCSO spokeswoman Carol Capas.
Clark is survived by a one-year-old son.