ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 92-year-old St. Paul woman was found guilty of careless driving and inattentive driving in Ramsey County Court Thursday in connection with an accident last April that caused severe injuries to two city public works employees.
Mabel Schleif’s attorney argued that she suffered a “silent heart attack” when the accident occurred. Schleif plowed into two city employees with her car, causing one to lose his and and another to suffer a severe brain injury.
Schleif was 91 at the time of the accident, and her attorney also argued that she had other health problems including glaucoma, hyper tension and memory loss that may have been a factor in the accident.
Thomas Haack and Craig Johnson were picking up garbage on Fairview Avenue underneath the Interstate 94 bridge when Schleif hit them. Both of them were wearing their fluorescent work vests. Their truck was properly parked with flashing lights on and the truck’s emergency lights were also activated.
After they were hit, Johnson was pinned between the work truck and Schleif’s car. He ultimately lost his left hand and part of his forearm in addition to breaking both his legs and several other bones. Haack was propelled over Schleif’s car, suffered broken bones and a concussion.
Both convictions were misdemeanors, and Schleif will be sentenced Feb. 7.