A young woman who struck and seriously injured a woman who was working in a road construction zone in East Bethel back in 2017 has entered a guilty plea to the charge of “consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk.” That is considered a gross misdemeanor under Minnesota law.
The victim, who has six children, was in a months-long coma following the accident. It was uncertain for a time whether she would survive. She pulled through but is still recovering. She’s still undergoing physical therapy as well as medical procedures as the result of her injuries.
She says she’ll never be able to return to her job. However, she plans to work for stricter laws to protect construction workers who risk their lives every day on Minnesota’s roads.
The 20-year-old woman who was behind the wheel could have faced up to a year in jail as well as a fine of $3,000. However, she received just a 30-day sentence, and only half of that will be spent in jail. She’ll be under house arrest for the remaining two weeks. She’s been ordered to pay fines and restitution of close to $1,000 and will spend two years on probation. She has also been ordered to speak in driver’s education classes about the perils of distracted driving.
The former construction worker seems to harbor no ill will against the woman responsible for her injuries. She says that she “felt really bad for her” when the woman tearfully apologized to her. She says, “I wanted to get up and hug [her] and say, ‘Hey, I don’t hate you, I forgive you.'”
It wasn’t reported whether the injured woman is taking any civil action against the driver who hit her. However, it’s essential for road construction workers to explore all of their options for compensation — including workers’ compensation — following a serious injury so that they can get the treatment they need to recover as fully as possible.