May 27 02:24 AM

Iraq vet killed intractor accident

Tractor, minivan collide on Shaw Rd.

Marine Russell Roszczewski served one tour of duty in Iraq and was in the active reserves at the time of his death.
December 01, 2010
GOODLAND TWP. — Funeral services will be held tomorrow for an Iraq War veteran and who was killed on Sunday after the tractor he was driving struck a minivan.

Russell Roszczewski, 22, was westbound on Shaw Road, between Wheeling and Brown City roads, atop a Farmall tractor when he started to make a lefthand turn into his driveway and struck a van attempting to pass the tractor. Driver Jane Bostian, 44, of Imlay City, told police that she blew her horn as a warning signal before attempting to pass.

Roszczewski was ejected from the tractor which had no cab or roll bar and was pronounced dead at the scene. Bostian was not injured in the crash.

Sgt. Jason Parks of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department said it doesn't appear there were any extenuating circumstances that could have contributed to the crash.

"There was no indication of excessive speed. Road conditions were dry and there were no visibility issues at all," Parks said.

He noted that Roszczewski was wearing a stocking cap at the time of the accident but investigators don't know if that might have prevented him from hearing the van approach or the vehicle's horn.

Law requires that police perform a toxicology test on deceased victims in traffic accidents, Parks said. They'll wait for results from that test before deciding if charges will be filed.

"We haven't determined yet who's at fault. There are laws that apply to both drivers," he said.

Parks said police are still trying to confirm his whereabouts before the accident but it's believed Roszczewski was returning home after spending the night at a friend's house. He was using the tractor as an alternate means of transportation.

"It's a very sad situation," Parks said of the accident and its proximity to the victim's home.

"This is a good reminder to practice due care and caution around farm machinery. It seems like we see at least one of these accidents a year but this is the first time in quite while that we've had a fatal incident."

Imlay City Police and the Goodland Township Fire Department assisted the sheriff's department on scene.

Roszczewski was a 2006 graduate of Imlay City High School and he had completed the auto body program at the Lapeer County Ed-Tech Center. He was a Boy Scout and 4-H member, raised lambs and participated in derby events at the Eastern Michigan Fair.

He joined the Marines following graduation and, according to his obituary, served one tour of duty in Iraq. He earned several medals including the Iraq Campaign Medal with one service star. At the time of his death, he was in the Marine reserves and was attending Grand Valley State University. Roszczewski was a member of the American Legion Post in Imlay City.

Roszczewski is survived by his parents, Roger and Tamara, two sisters and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Paul Ward officiating. Burial will follow at the Goodland Twp. cemetery. A veterans salute was held on Tuesday night.

For a complete obituary see page 2-D.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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