Home Vehicle Accidents Jeep owner sued after fatal mishap at dealership, reproductive rights zone in Ann Arbor, a flood-prone street

Jeep owner sued after fatal mishap at dealership, reproductive rights zone in Ann Arbor, a flood-prone street

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A man takes his car for an oil change and gets sued – after his car was involved in a deadly accident killing a worker while at the dealership.

On March 13, 2020, the customer took his car to the Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership and a young 19-year-old mechanic attempted to change the oil.  But something terrible happened.

“He starts the car, removes his foot from the clutch, and you know what happens? The Jeep jumps and kills my client,” said attorney David Femminineo.

The vehicle hit and killed employee Jeffrey Hawkins, a married 42-year-old, father of four, and a lifelong mechanic.

“He was an excellent man,” Femminineo said. “The 2-year-old who was about 1 at the time of the accident, the time of the death, he’ll never know his father.”

Mr. Hawkins died instantly in the accident.

FOX 2: “Did the 19-year-old know how to drive a stick?”

“He didn’t know how to drive a stick, and he had no license,” the attorney said.

FOX 2: “Why did the dealership hire him?”

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Femminineo said.

But hold on one minute –

FOX 2: “You must be suing the dealership?”

We can’t because of a legal standard that is involved,” the lawyer said.

Jeff Hawkins died in the tragic accident.

That’s because the accident happened at work and involved two employees and you can’t sue the boss in that situation.

But attorney David Femminineo claims that the person responsible is the owner of the car.

FOX 2: “You’re suing the owner of the car who’s getting his oil changed who did nothing in this case?”

“I have to do that,” Femminineo said.

That’s the law.  FOX 2 reached out to the car owner’s attorney – but he had no comment on pending litigation, other than to say he’s going to fight this case in a trial at the end of May.  

“When you hand your car over to anybody including the valet or the person at the service desk at your local dealership, you better be able to trust that person,” the attorney said.

Detroit police seek suspect after deadly drive-by shooting over weekend

Detroit police are asking the public for help searching for the vehicle used in a drive-by shooting that left a woman dead over the weekend. A 36-year-old woman died after someone shot out a white or grey-colored sedan on the city’s west side, police say.

While officers have obtained surveillance footage showing a vehicle speeding away from the scene, they haven’t released any other details about its whereabouts or the driver that was inside. 

The shooting happened in the 13500 block of Rockdale, which is between Outer Drive and I-96, and just north of Outer Drive Fullerton park. It reportedly occurred around 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Footage that police released show black and white images of a sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Malibu speeding between vehicles away from the scene. No other details were provided. 

1990 Ann Arbor charter amendment makes it Reproductive Rights Safety Zone

If the US Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe vs Wade, Ann Arbor says their city has a plan in place. The city charter was amended 30 years ago to designate the city limits as a Reproductive Rights Safety Zone.

Elizabeth Nelson, a council member at the city since 2018 said the city’s charter addresses the abortion question in the event of a change at the federal level over access. The city “basically made a statement that regardless of what is happening nationally, these are freedoms that we value,” she said.

The city put it to a vote back in 1990, making it official in the city charter that Ann Arbor is a zone of reproduction freedom. Anyone who is found in violation is subject to a fine of $5.  A similar measure was in place before marijuana became legal as well. 

Pro-life supporters say despite what may be written in a city charter, if the Roe v Wade decision is overturned, the state will revert to the law that was on the books since the 1800s.  “We have used this law in several cases throughout Michigan,” said Ann Visser, Right to Life Michigan. “Not necessarily to prosecute a doctor who is committing abortion, but for other cases.

Cedar Point reopens this weekend

The opening day of the roller coaster season at Cedar Point is almost here. The Ohio-based amusement park and one of the most popular destinations in the Midwest returns Saturday. The park’s 153rd season officially begins at 10 a.m. And like every new year in Sandusky Ohio, there are some new attractions to drum up excitement for a summer of roller coasters. 

At the top of the list is the Farmhouse Kitchen & Grill in Frontier Town. According to a release, the eatery will offer a variety of hand-made dining selections, including roasted corn ribs, house-made chili, char-roasted flank steak, seasonal vegetables, hushpuppies, and cash iron brownie. 

Exclusive to the Cedar Point Peninsula, Castaway Bay brings a tropical theme to some of the overnight visitors at Cedar Point. Loveable animals will greet many of the guests that stay at the Caribbean-themed resort. The hotel actually opens the day before the park on May 6.

One of the biggest changes to Cedar Point isn’t even the attractions but the park’s exclusively cashless transactions. Cash will be converted into a prepaid debit card that can be used in or outside the park. Credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay all will be accepted as well. Read more about the system here. 

Detroit flood-prone neighborhood getting relief soon

Residents on Sobieski Street have been dealing with flooding issues for about two years. The street near the border of Detroit and Hamtramck has caused problems repeatedly, but it never gets fixed even when people call the city about it.

“We called maybe like 50-60 times,” said MD Ahmed, a resident mad about the flooded street. The water not only floods the road – it fills basements of homes on the street.

FOX 2 called the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, and was met by an employee Wednesday.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” said Bryan Peckinpaugh. “The problem here is that the catch basin has a broken trap.” Peckinpaugh says fixing the problem is a priority, and the water department plans to do it soon. He also said the water would be pumped out of the street. 

What else we’re watching

  1. A poor deer caught on camera in Waterford with a can stuck on its nose hasn’t eaten or drank water in about a week, a man who has been trying to help the animal says. Scott Sisk has called around to get the animal some help, but hasn’t had any success yet. 
  2. A new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined the causes of the Edenville and Sanford dams that displaced thousands and flooded the city of Midland were “foreseeable and preventable.” The disaster refocused the need for infrastructure upgrades in the state. 
  3. The Detroit Police Department is hosting a meeting late Thursday morning to continue building on progress for Operation Brison, the agency’s campaign to reduce freeway shootings in the city. 
  4. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced the first ever Statewide Housing Plan, a five-year program that aims to provide affordable and accessible housing. The move is as much a policy to bolster the state’s business outlook and talent attraction as it is meant to help people who can’t afford rent or a mortgage. 
  5. According to a survey from AAA, drivers shopping for a new vehicle want two things: better fuel efficiency and more driver assist safety features. About 80% say they want imrpved fuel economy following spikes in gas prices. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

A mix of clouds and sunshine Thursday will keep conditions in the high 50s and low 60s again as a remarkably consistent weather week continues. Rain is forecasted for Friday and a bit on Saturday before a hopefully beautiful Mother’s Day returns Sunday. 

Non-scalable fence erected around Supreme Court as abortion rights protests continue

A tall security fence was erected around the Supreme Court building Wednesday evening into Thursday morning following concerns about protesters and demonstrations. The fencing is similar to what was set up around the Capitol following last year’s riot. The barrier in front of the Supreme Court, however, does not encircle the entire building.

Barricades were set up in front of the steps of the Supreme Court Building Monday as authorities anticipated crowds in response to the bombshell report on abortion rights. Since Politico published the leaked article from the Supreme Court, showing a draft majority opinion to overturn Roe V. Wade, thousands of people have shown up to protest in front of the High Court.

The demonstrations have been peaceful, despite pro-life and pro-choice protestors voicing their opinions on the contentious topic. The U.S. Capitol Police released the following statement regarding their security plan:

“We are working closely with our partner law enforcement agencies to prepare for any potential demonstrations in the area of the Supreme Court, including adding additional officers in the area.”

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