Janet Bewley sued by man for causing fatal crash that killed wife and daughter day after cataract surgery
ASHLAND, WISCONSIN: Former marine Brandon Fink has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wisconsin Senate Democratic Minority Leader Janet Bewley, 70, after a car crash killed his daughter, 5, and her mother. Bewley had undergone cataract eye surgery the day before the fatal crash that killed Fink's daughter Khali, 5, and her mother, Alyssa Ortman, 27, earlier this year.
The Ashland Police Department said that Bewley pulled out of the Maslowski beach parking lot and drove into the path of Ortman’s car at 12.30 pm on Friday, July 22. The two cars collided, leading to Ortman’s vehicle spinning across the Highway and subsequently being hit by Jodi Munson, 45, in another vehicle. While Khali was pronounced dead at the scene, Ortman was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Defendants in the lawsuit include Bewley, another driver Jodi Munson, 45, and three insurance companies. Fink has sought damages of more than $10,000 and requested a jury trial. His complaint alleged that Bewley, Munson and Ortman were responsible for his daughter's death. Bewley was not injured in the crash, Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom confirmed.
Fink accused Bewley of failing to maintain a proper lookout, disregarding the right of way, and driving in a distracted state. He claimed Munson and Ortman also failed to maintain proper speed and keep a lookout. The crash took place while Bewley was being interviewed on the phone in her car.
Days after the tragedy, Fink said Bewley must be treated like "anyone else". "I found out a Senator killed my baby and they might not even press charges even though she was on the phone during the accident," he told the Daily Mail. "And just had cataract surgery the day before. I'm furious and want this Senator to come to justice and pay for what she did like anyone else would have to. She shouldn't get away with this."
Ortman's brother, Christopher, had also reportedly lost his life to a drunk driver in October 2020. State police charged Warren Miller with a felony count of vehicular homicide for the death of Chris Ortman. Miller's Chevrolet Malibu smashed into Christopher’s Mercury Sable. An injured Christopher was rushed to a hospital but he died from a cardiac arrest. Ortman's mother, Ginger, suffered a double heartache after her son's death.