May 27, 2015


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Driver found not guilty of charges in death of young flag worker

A man who struck and killed a flag woman at a highway construction site has been found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

Michael Blostein, 70, learned his fate this morning. Queen’s Bench Justice Doug Abra ruled that Blostein’s actions didn’t represent a "marked departure" from the normal standard of care expected by motorists.

Brittany Murray Brittany Murray, 21, of Winnipeg, was working as a signal person in a construction zone when she was struck by a car.

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Brittany Murray Brittany Murray, 21, of Winnipeg, was working as a signal person in a construction zone when she was struck by a car.

Blostein, 70, had pleaded not guilty in the Oct. 18, 2010, collision that killed Brittany Lynn Murray.

Murray, 21 at the time, was employed as a flag woman for Mulder Construction, which was resurfacing a stretch of Highway 207 between the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 15.

At his trial earlier this month, the Crown argued Blostein failed to take cautionary steps a reasonable person would have taken.

"This is a case of speed and inattentiveness," prosecutor Craig Savage said during his closing arguments. "If (Blostein) had been paying more attention to his speed and to his surroundings, he would have seen Miss Murray."

Savage said Blostein should have known to expect a flag person and other workers along the site and was driving too fast for those conditions.

Blostein said he believed he was driving at the posted speed of 90 km/h when he entered the construction zone but did not reduce his speed to 60 as warned by signs because he didn't see any workers until he hit Murray.

Savage said the report of an RCMP collision-reconstruction analyst found based on the skid marks, Blostein had been travelling at a minimum of 112 km/h just before he applied his brakes and then was doing 89 km/h when he struck and killed Murray.

Blostein knew the area was under construction, Savage said. A sign warned flaggers were in the area and motorists should reduce their speed to 60 km/h.

Defence co-counsel Lisa LaBossiere said Blostein did nothing that day that should turn him into a criminal.

LaBossiere said while the expert's report had him travelling at a higher speed, she said Blostein testified he was doing the posted speed limit and a driver who was following Blostein said he was doing 80 km/h.

www.mikeoncrime.com

History

Updated on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 8:06 PM CDT: corrects typo.

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