ST. JOSEPH, Minn. -- Two women who lost their husbands on the same day are now calling for a drastic change in charging procedures.
The wives of Craig Carlson and Ron Rajkowski say the man who hit and killed their husbands, facing a misdemeanor careless driving charge, is getting off way too easy.
"The law's the law I guess but something needs to be changed. These workers that are out in the field working are afraid," Jodi Rajkowski said.
Ron Rajkowski and Craig Carlson were working on the side of 35W in Burnsville on October 13, when a driver swerved off the road, hitting and killing them.
The man charged in this case, 22-year-old Kirk Deamos of Missouri, had gotten a speeding ticket in Iowa a few hours before the crash.
Investigators say when he got to Burnsville, he looked down to adjust his cruise control, lost control of the vehicle, and veered into the ditch.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom tells KARE 11 that because he wasn't impaired, wasn't on his phone, and wasn't speeding, they couldn't charge him with criminal vehicular homicide. "Which left careless (or negligent) driving as the only charge possible in this case," Backstrom said in a statement.
"They're (the punishment for misdemeanors) not steep enough to make people follow the rules, as a result we lost our husbands," Deb Carlson said.
Jon Cummings, the founder of Minnesotans for Safe Driving, says he and Backstrom have been pushing state legislators for years to give prosecutors more tools in cases like this. "There should be a more serious penalty when somebody is dead because somebody is not paying attention to what they are doing," Cummings noted.
Both Deb Carlson and Jodi Rajkowski agree. Both are mothers of two children. "It's a lot of work keeping the same lifestyle," Carlson said through tears. "It's surreal. He left one morning and never came home," Rajkowski concluded, on the eve of Deamos' arraignment.
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