Charges filed against New Ulm woman in Brown County Court Wednesday say she was on her cell phone when she fatally struck a pedestrian.
Tammy Lynn Waibel, 49, was charged with misdemeanor counts of careless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian for the November 1st crash that killed 63-year-old Craig Schmidt of New Ulm.
According to the criminal complaint, Waibel told the state patrol she was distracted while watching a group of kids at the time of the crash, concerned they might enter the street.
Two witnesses to the crash told investigators it appeared that Waibel’s vehicle never slowed down prior to striking Schmidt.
Waibel’s cell phone records showed that she was on a phone call that took place during the time of the crash, according to the complaint. The charges say a crash reconstruction concluded that Waibel had time to stop to avoid hitting Schmidt.
The crash was one of three pedestrian crashes in New Ulm in just over a month last fall. Days after Schmidt was killed, a New Ulm woman was critically injured after being hit by a vehicle while crossing Garden Street. In late September, a 70-year-old man was struck and killed at a Broadway intersection.