UPDATE: Timothy Kostal was acquitted of careless driving on June 21, 2018, in Marge Johnson’s death.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man is facing criminal charges 14 months after a rural Aitkin grandmother was killed by a hit and run driver.
Marge Johnson, 85, was found near her mailbox along Highway 47, about three miles east of Aitkin, on June 10, 2016.
Questions lingered for weeks after Johnson’s death.
“Us as a family have really tried to put this puzzle together,” said Scott Johnson, Marge’s son.
For son Scott and his wife, Jodi, the big question was: Why didn’t the person who ran her over come forward?
“But I just wish that he on that day would have took a different turn and said, you know, I just got to tell them what I think happened, instead of keeping it to himself and being so afraid,” Jodi said.
Timothy Kostal, 61, said he stopped his truck after seeing Marge laying near her driveway.
Another woman who stopped and called 911 recalls Kostal freaking out.
Weeks after her death, investigators discovered that tire marks on the victim matched Kostal’s truck tires. He later changed his story, and admitted he likely backed over Marge by accident.
“I know he didn’t mean to do it,” Scott said. “The bottom line is it did happened, and I guess I would’ve liked to have him more, more truthful upfront about the whole situation.”
Her family is not happy that all he now faces is misdemeanor careless driving.
“I want him to come true,” Scott said. “What really did happen?”
The Johnsons say they will push for tougher laws for these kinds of cases.
Kostal makes his first court appearance Monday.