Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes News

Jury returns guilty verdicts on two of three counts in death of road commission worker

LAWRENCE – On March 3, 2023, Rene Rangel, Jr., was killed while working for the Van Buren County Road Commission in a work zone on County Road 681 in Arlington Township. 
His tragic death has devastated Rene’s family, friends, and the Road Commission family, said Bret Witkowski, Van Buren County Road Commission managing director.
A jury trial began Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, and on Monday, Feb. 5, the jury returned a verdict.  After an emotional trial and several hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts on two of the three counts: guilty of operating a vehicle in a work zone causing death and operating without insurance.
“Our Road Commission family is thankful to the Michigan State Police, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office, the numerous emergency services departments who initially responded, the jurors, and all involved in the investigation and trial for ensuring that the person responsible for Rene’s death was brought to justice,” said Witkowski.
“This is yet another tragic reminder of the risks associated with working on our roadways every day – and the importance of driving safely and slowly near road crews. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Rene’s family,” Witkowski concluded.

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