A blinding sun may be cause for traffic fatality

By Charles Sercombe

A 58-year-old Hamtramck man is facing three felony charges in a hit and run accident that resulted in the death of an Ann Arbor man last Sunday evening.

Mitchell Kowalewicz of Hamtramck is accused of reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and an injury. He is also charged with injuring another man in the accident.

According to Detective Prima Brennan, Kowalewicz was driving westbound on Holbrook, just west of Jos. Campau, at around 5:30 p.m. when he struck and killed Mushtaq Sayed, 72.

Sayed had pulled over to ask a man at an ATM machine at Huntington Bank for directions. It’s not clear if Sayed had not pulled far enough over to the curb.

Mesha Latich, 62, was giving Sayed directions when both were struck. Latich suffered a broken ankle.

Witnesses told police that driving westbound was challenging because of the setting sun. Some described it as being “blinding,” said Brennan.

One witness followed Kowalewicz home here in Hamtramck, and then called police.

Brennan said Kowalewicz told police he did not realize he had struck anyone.

Police say he did not test positive for alcohol or drugs. Kowalewicz now faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted. He was released on a $10,000 bond, of which he was required to pay $1,000.

He has no prior criminal record or traffic citations.

3 Responses to A blinding sun may be cause for traffic fatality

  1. JB

    March 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    A blinding sun doesn’t casue an accident! It takes a careless driver not slowing down when he can’t see and continuning to drive when it is not safe…careless!

    This is written to make an excuse for the careless driver, that the sun was ‘Blinding.” This is similar to driving in the dark without lights, when it is dark turn your lights on or pull over. If the sun is blinding to the point you can’t drive safely, you make a decission to drive anyway or pull over…careless!

  2. KA

    March 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I totally agree with JB. How can you hit two adults hard enough to kill one of them, and not realize you struck anyone. Even when a car hits a small critter on the road, you know you hit something, and most people feel bad about that.

  3. Former friend

    December 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

    I know the subject of this article and while I havent seen him in several years I would never characterize him as careless. Obviously something happened that day and it does strain belief that he didn’t realize he hit something but it is also not possible that the two previous commenters who don’t know him nor were there are100 percent certain.

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