Young engineer killed

News R&B August 19, 2002
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A Macomb Township, Mich., woman was arrested on Aug. 16 in connection with an Aug. 9 traffic accident. Stacey Ann Bettcher, 30, is accused of hitting two construction workers with her vehicle while driving through a construction work zone on I-94 near Detroit.

Tanya Marie Loewen, 26, of Saskatoon, Sask., was an engineer with International Road Dynamics (IRD) in Saskatoon working on contract for the Michigan DOT. She was killed in the accident.

William Hattan, 41, of Portland, Mich., was installing a traffic control sign with Loewen on the shoulder of westbound I-94 at the beginning of a construction zone when they were struck by the vehicle. Hattan, who also works with IRD, remains in the hospital.

Bettcher and a child in the car received only minor injuries. They were wearing seat belts.

Bettcher is the first person charged under a new Michigan law that makes it a felony for a driver to kill or injure a worker in a highway construction zone, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. She was charged with a felony for a moving violation causing the death of a construction worker and a misdemeanor for a moving violation causing injury to a construction worker. The felony carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, and the misdemeanor carries a sentence of one year.

IRD and the Loewen family have established the Tanya Loewen Educational Scholarship Fund in Loewen’s memory. Loewen was a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan in civil engineering and worked in IRD’s ITS Solutions Group.

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