Michigan Law Challenged in Construction Zone DeathAbstract:
An August 9, 2002 traffic accident killed Tanya Lowewen, who was an engineer with International Road Dynamics in Saskatoon, Sask. working on contract for the Michigan DOT. Stacey Bettcher was arrested and accused of hitting Loewen and William Hattan with her vehicle while driving through a highway work zone near Detroit. Hattan was in a coma for several weeks and is still recovering. Bettcher was charged under a new MI law that makes it a felony for a driver to kill or injure a worker in a highway construction zone. The felony carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. The ACLU is challenging the charge, saying Bettcher’s action did not involve a “morally wrong mental state.” The prosecutor in the case believes a criminal state of mind is not necessary for the law to apply.