28 year-old, Ellen Bengtson, of Charlies City was struck and killed by a distracted driver back in August of 2020. Colby Elliot, who was behind the wheel, was later charged with reckless homicide by vehicle.
For the Bengtson family, August 2nd of 2020 ,will forever be a day that changed their lives. The call they received the day she was hit is one they will never forget.
“I asked if [I] could, talk to her cause I know she, she might be afraid, I'd like to talk [and] comfort her," says Ellen's mom, JoAnn Bengtson. "He said, no, she's not able to talk at this time and I knew I just knew. At that time you are on your hands and knees.”
After waiting nearly two years for her case to go to trial, the Bengtson family was shocked to find that District Judge, DeDra L. Schroeder, decided to dismiss the case. She decided the evidence was "insufficient to sustain a conviction," and the case never made it in front of a jury.
The Bengtson family is now hoping to bring awareness to the issue of distracted driving. They want to see changes to Iowa’s laws to ensure no other family shares their experience. They reached out to the Iowa Attorney General's Office to try and make sure that this ruling doesn't become a precedent for future rulings.