By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS - No criminal charges will be filed against an Iron County Sheriff's Department deputy who struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his squad car.
Baraga County Prosecutor Joseph O'Leary, who is acting as the special Iron County Prosecutor in the case, said that his review of the evidence shows no criminal negligence on the part of Deputy Leonard Brezek.
"I have concluded that there is no evidence that would indicate Deputy Brezek acted in a criminally negligent fashion or committed any other crime that day," said O'Leary. "Accordingly, I have conveyed to the Michigan State Police my intention to take no further prosecutorial action in this matter."
The fatal accident occurred on Oct. 31 in Iron County's Mansfield Township.
According to troopers from the Iron Mountain post of the Michigan State Police, Brezek was traveling in a squad car on M-69 near Hope Mine Road at about 11 a.m. when he struck a pedestrian.
Troopers reported that the pedestrian, 91-year-old Harold Foucault of Crystal Falls, died in the collision.
O'Leary said that he reviewed reports from state police personnel Matt Akerley, Brad Lammi, Doug Cole, Jacob Mundy, Ryan Rossler, David Stuck, Chris Bracket, Thomas Rajala, and John Bruno.
Additional reviewed evidence included audio and video recordings of the accident scene, radio traffic related to the incident, photographs of the scene, autopsy data, and information retrieved from Brezek's cell phone.
O'Leary offered his condolences to Foucault's family.
"On behalf of the Michigan Attorney General, the Iron County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and all the investigators involved, I wish to convey our deepest sympathy for the family of Harold Foucault," he said. "This was a truly tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they suffer through their loss."
No further information on the incident is available at this time.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.