Posted on Feb 08, 2024

Man convicted in crash that killed Van Buren County road worker

VAN BUREN COUNTY, MI - A jury has convicted a driver who was charged with hitting and killing Van Buren County road employee Rene Rangel Jr. on March 3, 2023, reports.

31-year-old Logan Ryan Brown of Hartford, Michigan, was found guilty Monday of operating a vehicle in a work zone causing death and operating without insurance.  Prosecutors said Brown was driving a 1997 Dodge pickup truck on County Road 681 in Arlington Township when he tried to pass another pickup.

Brown hit the back of the other pickup and then struck Rangel, a 58-year-old Dowagiac resident.  Police said Rangel was holding a traffic control sign at the time he was hit.

While he was convicted on the two charges, Brown was found not guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death.

Brown will be sentenced April 15 and faces up to a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $7,500 fine for the charge of causing death in a work zone.  Another year behind bars and fine up to $500 could be added for driving without insurance.

The Van Buren County Road Commission released a statement that read in part, “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.”