BAY CITY, MI — A woman is a step closer to facing the jury that will decide whether she is criminally responsible for the deaths of a married couple she crashed into more than a year ago.
The preliminary examination of 41-year-old Angela R. Majchrzak was held the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 10. As her first witness, Bay County Prosecutor Nancy E. Borushko called Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reconstructionist Sgt. Ted Stone to the stand.
Stone testified that as part of his investigation into the June 26, 2016, crash that claimed the lives of Donald L. Raber and Denies K. Raber, he analyzed an event data recorder retrieved from a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. The recovered data indicated the truck was traveling at 97 mph just 2.5 seconds before it collided with the Rabers’ 1984 Chevrolet Corvette, then slowed to 78 mph a half-second before impact. Brake lights had been activated in that gap, Stone said.
The truck’s speedometer had not been corrected after large tires were put on it, Stone added. This means the reported speed was likely slower than the vehicle was traveling, the sergeant explained.
Michigan State Police Trooper Michael Darrow testified he responded to the crash site at the intersection of Mackinaw and Cody Estey roads in Pinconning Township and took aerial photos of the scene. Traffic heading north or south on Mackinaw Road faced stop signs, while traffic traveling on the east-west Cody Estey Road did not, he said.
Darrow said there was nothing that would have obstructed a motorist’s view of the stop signs. He added the post speed limit in the area is 55 mph.
Police reports obtained by The Times via a Freedom of Information Act request state Majchrzak had been driving the Silverado north on Mackinaw Road and ran a stop sign before crashing into the Corvette driven by Donald Raber.
The Corvette struck a utility pole and then, largely in pieces, came to rest on its roof in a bean field northeast of the intersection. The Silverado ended up on its passenger side in a ditch on the northeast side of Mackinaw Road.
Medical personnel pronounced both Rabers dead at the scene. Autopsy results indicated they died from multiple blunt force traumas. Majchrzak and a male passenger were transported to an area hospital, with Majchrzak having suffered an apparent head injury.
After Darrow testified, Majchrzak through attorney Matthew L. Reyes waived the remainder of the hearing. Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer then bound Majchrzak over to Circuit Court for trial.
Majchrzak, who is free on bond, is charged with two counts of reckless driving causing death, a 15-year felony. Her next court date is pending.
In November, the Rabers’ son, Jeremy Zadonia, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Majchrzak and Jamison Majchrzak in Bay County Circuit Court. Zadonia, acting as the personal representative of the Rabers’ estates, sought damages in excess of $25,000.
The lawsuit names Jamison Majchrzak as a defendant because he owned the Silverado, the lawsuit argues.
The suit was settled for more than $660,000 in June, with the Majchrzaks owing parties $331,263.58 regarding Denise Raber’s death and $332,362.07 in her husband’s death, court records show.