Investigation Into Wisconsin Senator Janet Bewley Crash Continues
Wisconsin State Senator Janet Bewley was involved in an automobile accident that led to the death of a Pennsylvania woman and her 5-year old child. Now, state and local authorities are working together to dig deeper into the cause and aftermath of the incident.
Details about the accident are still being revealed. In total, three vehicles were involved in the accident that occured on July 22 in Ashland.
Here's a summary of the accident, as reported in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall]:
"...[A]uthorities say Janet Bewley, Democrat from Mason, pulled onto Highway 2 from a Lake Superior beach area and struck a car driven by Alyssa Ortman of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, spinning her car into a third vehicle traveling the opposite direction. Ortman and her 5-year old daughter did not survive the crash. Bewley's staff said she was not seriously injured."
Since the accident occured, additional details were shared in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In that article, it was revealed that Bewley was on her cell phone at the time of the crash and she had also had a medical procedure the day before:
"...one of the newspaper's interns was on the phone with Bewley the day of the crash, and the senator said she had cataract eye surgery the day before. Bewley, the paper claimed, abruptly stopped speaking during the phone call and, when asked if she was okay, said: 'Yeah, I'm okay. This is not a good accident'."
At this point, the Wisconsin State Patrol is involved with investigating the accident. While the bulk of the accident research is being handled by the Ashland Police Department, "reconstruction [of an accident scene] is managed by State Patrol officers.
That investigation could take "several weeks" - a timeline that is somewhat dictated by the PTO schedule of one of the major patrolmen involved in the review. As far as what goes into a recreation itself, many aspects of the accident are looked at:
"...Skid marks on the road, for instance, or damage to a vehicle - to try to determine what happened during a crash, how fast vehicles involved were traveling, and so on. Investigators also speak with witnesses and review videos of the crash, if any were recorded by a dash camera or nearby home or business".
This is a developing story and more details are expected as the investigation continues.
Janet Bewley is the Democratic Minority Leader in the Wisconsin State Senate. She was first elected in 2015.