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Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

Mother of four killed in car crash west of Ann Arbor

By Kyle Feldscher

An Ann Arbor woman was texting while driving when her car crashed Tuesday afternoon on Wagner Road in Scio Township, killing her, police said

Ann Arbor resident Charmaine Daugherty died after her car hit a telephone pole and overturned on Wagner Road south of Liberty Road, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said.

Daugherty was texting at about 3 p.m. while driving north on Wagner before she began to cross the center line into oncoming traffic, Jackson said. She swerved, lost control of the car and hit the telephone pole on the west side of the road. Her vehicle came to rest upside down in a field west of Wagner Road.


The scene west of Wagner Road after the crash that claimed Charmaine Daugherty's life.

Melanie Maxwell |

Daugherty was the mother of four children, Jackson said. The family is absolutely devastated, he said.

“They’re in a tough position,” he said.

Daugherty was pronounced dead at the scene. She was the only person inside the car, Jackson said.

Jackson said Daugherty was wearing a seatbelt.

Daugherty was a Slauson Middle School, Lawton Elementary School and Pioneer High School parent and the school’s principal sent out an email Wednesday morning announcing her death to school parents. Counselors and staff members were on hand at the schools Wednesday to help any staff and students struggling with the news, according to district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.

Funeral arrangements for Daugherty are expected to be released on Thursday, according to the email.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

This tragedy really hits home for my family. Our parents have been working with Ms. Daugherty's oldest child at her place of employment over the past few weeks. She's a very good worker and extremely helpful - without going into her line of work or employer. We found out yesterday when one of her co-workers told us. Our thoughts and prayers are with her whole family.

Elaine F. Owsley

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

First the boy killed by a train he couldn't hear because he was listening to music with ear buds, now this tragedy. Electronics have to be used with some kind of discretion.

Leigh Ann Koepp

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

My heart goes out to the husband and children. If someone who is close with this family can get them information on Ele's Place it will be so helpful for them. My children's father passed away suddenly last March and my children and I go to Ele's Place. It has been paramount to our healing. This family is in my thoughts and prayers


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

An unfortunate and needless tragedy. I hope the family finds the support and comfort they need during their grieving. Legislation - that's a good thing. But it all boils down to common sense. Every day I get out on that road I fear for my life.

Wendy Springer

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Charmaine was a wonderful mother, wife, friend,neighbor and all around great person. our community will never be the same without her. I miss you Chelly!


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

LISTEN up Everyone! There IS a law against texting while driving in Michigan! Hard to believe all the enlightened ones here don't know this or take time to read a post now and then. It has been stated numerous times here!

LaWanda Garrett

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

My heartfelt condolences to the husband, children and other family/friends members of Charmaine Daugherty. I pray for their strength in the trying days ahead. I am really surprised at the number of people who aren't aware that legislation has already been passed in MI re: texting and driving. I too have been guilty of doing this. As many have said it really is not worth it! We must value our lives & the lives of others so much more than we do. The phone call/text can wait! Here is a link to an article I found re: Distracted driving legislation in MI. Let's educate ourselves and our children. Blessings to all!


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

I suppose the fact that so many people don't know that texting while driving is illegal is part of the problem. Not that it should have to be illegal to realize it's a horrible idea. Then again, how many of us can say that we have never done something stupid that we know is stupid and/or thought we could get away with something "just this once". If we are honest, maybe we won't be quite so quick to pass houses and casting the first stone and all that.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

So utterly heartbreaking for the family.... PLEASE everyone, put the phones away when driving!! You could be saving your own life.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

Or mine.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

We don't need a no-texting-while-driving law, if individuals don't realize that the consequences of their actions could result in possible death, then what is a law going to do to stop them. Laws are only good for people who want to do the right thing and follow them. We have seat belt laws and DUI laws and the stories of tragedies involving both are countless. I feel sorry for her children and my prayers go out to her family.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

What a shame. Really feel bad for the family. Let this be a lesson to all of us.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

This didn't need to happen. I hope we get Democrats back in Lansing, they can pass texting ban.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

So, are you seriously saying that had it been a primary offense, she would have been pulled over? Pullllleeeese spare me.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Republicans repealed the helmet law, not the Democrats. Texting is a secondary offense; you have to be committing a more major infraction to warrant being pulled over, but an officer cannot solely pull you over for texting. Got it, Ann Arbor?

Sandy Castle

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

A2Hoodie and Mark - MjC is right! There ALREADY is a texting while driving ban and it was passed by REPUBLICANS!!!! Jeez, get off the political blame game. It doesn't matter whether they're Democrat or Republican, they all believe in laws being put in place, regardless of the "we don't want big government" cry when it's SOMETHING THEY WANT to control.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Are you telling me that Republicans don't believe in safety as much as Democrats? Or is it that Republicans maybe don't want to have a law for every little thing. What about personal responsibility? I'm pretty sure that the driver knew the risks involved w/ texting while driving. Why do we need a law telling us to not do something we know we shouldn't be doing anyway?


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

I'm shocked by the number of posters who don't know that it is already illegal to text while driving. maybe a follow-up story needs to be done so we can inform the community. Again, my heart and prayers go out to the entire family.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

We got along for many years without phones in our cars. I think we should go back to those days. My deepest condolences to the family & friends of the victim. I don't know any of them, but I'm crushed when I hear stories like this one.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

I hate to say this but I agree with you. But here is the sad part about it. We have been doing this for so long now? We forget that the radio was a big distraction when it came out. Then the phone 20 years ago. I'd love to see how we can enforce no phones in cars without the jo public screaming harassment.

Tom Joad

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 5:18 a.m.

The insidiousness of texting is the immediacy of its nature. Both the sender and the receiver have specific obligations to each other but above all the watchword should be patience. Wait until it's safe to both read and respond to texts and the sender should be patient for a reply. A moment's inattention when a vehicle is traveling at speed can be catastrophic with no chance for recovery. Seeing that vehicle laying on its roof says it all.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 4:41 a.m.

Nothing is as important as your life. Be responsible every time behind the wheel, to yourself and to others. Hopefully her kids will get over soon.

Pizza Man

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Doesn't Ann Arbor have a texting ban for this reason?


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Well sort of, since Ann Arbor is a city in Michigan, where it's illegal in the entire state to text while driving!


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

This is such sad news. My prayers are with this family.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

Scary stuff. My condolences to the Daughertys. I travel that road all the time. Driving a car has never been so dangerous as it is these days. I find myself constantly looking into the eyes of oncoming traffic to see if they are on t ehr front of us. Us. You, and I.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

jcj, Safer cars help without a doubt, but it is not the only reason. What about improved safety features on highways/roads, i.e. the steel cables in the median to prevent crossover, or increased use of roundabouts? These also help to decrease fatalities. Surely there are other factors that are also at play. If smarter/safer cars is the only reason please cite some credible source.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

libertyordeath The ONLY thing that keeps the fatality rate down is safer cars!


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 4:08 a.m.

This is certainly a tragedy and driving is still certainly dangerous when texting or not. However, Tesla, your statement, 'Driving a car has never been so dangerous as it is these days.' is false. Despite a rising population and increased 'distractions,' driving fatalities are down. Whatsmore, the rate of fatalities per mile traveled is also down ( We still need to exercise great care and caution while driving, but don't let our perceptions interfere with the actual reality by making statements that only inflame the discussion.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

This was just so needless. And such a tragedy. I hope that something good can come out of this. More awareness. Making people think twice before picking up their phone while driving. I try and either leave mine in the glove-compartment or in my back pocket so I can't reach or hear it while driving.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Keeping the Daugherty family in my prayers and thoughts, may Charmaine rest in peace and find comfort in the arms of God. Good Day


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

This is so very tragic. I will remember this every time my phone rings or buzzes while I'm driving. I for one will make sure this families loss does not go in vein.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

This is so very sad. My thoughts and prayers go to her children and family.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

It is beyond tragic whenever there is such a senseless death. There will once again be an unfortunate hue and cry for more laws but try as we may, we can never legislate absolute common sense in matters of human behavior. Furthermore, those of us who read of, and acknowledge such risky behavior are already among the more prudent.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go to this family. Please those who can post this on facebook so maybe this won't happen to another family.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

The fallacy is that we need an anti-texting law passed to stop texting while driving. A city prosecutor reminded me that a cop seeing a driver texting could ticket the driver under current laws for careless or reckless driving, depending upon the actual severity of the conduct.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Actually, the fallacy is that we don't already have an anti-texting law. We do have one. 257.602b Reading, typing, or sending text message on wireless 2-way communication device prohibited; exceptions; violation as civil infraction; fine; local ordinances superseded. You can look up the rest - too long to post here.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

She Was a wonderful mother with her children. I know them in pioneer. the Children will have a tought time with there loss.

Lori Turner

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

This is very sad indeed! I am sure while she was texting, she probably knew she shouldn't be. I have caught myself trying to do it...and then stop! I see she has a child at the high school. I bet she also told her child not to do this. Sure, we can get the law passed and it is probably not that far from happening. Unfortunately, people will STILL do it! I think other things have to be in place if the law is passed. Like if you get multiple offenses you are hooked up to something similar to when you get a DUI and your car won't start. Because lets face it, it is the same as drunk driving..maybe even worse. I know this sounds silly, but passing a law is NOT going to solve these senseless deaths. My heart goes out to her family. God Bless.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

It is illegal to text while driving in the State of Michigan. I'm surprised by the number of posters who don't know this. Maybe our community needs to better advertise. My heart and prayers go out to the entire family. "What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now forever taken from my sight Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind..."

Bob Feldscher

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

A tragic reminder, everytime I touch my phone - I am reminded by the sudden swerve to put it down


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Very very sad and tragic accident. IMO, texting while driving should be illegal, not that it would stop all of it, but maybe save a few lives. No text message is more important than one's life. Hope the children can recover from their loss. Very sad.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

towncryer Would it make a difference? The answer is obvious.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

Are the out of town students made aware of the law when they come to UM? I probably see at least one person texting while driving every day.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

We have text blocked on our cell phones. Since we will have a driver next year? No texting what so ever in this family. Glad to hear this is a law but hard to enforce. Wow.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

FYI, Texting while a motor vehicle is in motion is illegal in the state of Michigan. The problem is it's an impossible thing to stop and really hard to catch someone in the act - let alone prove they were texting. It's sad to see lives like this lost because of such a silly thing.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Very sad. A stark reminder to all that distracted driving is dangerous.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

How horrible, I'm so sorry for her children.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

People NEVER learn. I feel bad for her family.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Very sad -- thank goodness no other innocent people were injured.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Lawmakers, please take note and pass legislation that forbids distracting driving activities so that these tragedies can be avoided. My condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Daugherty.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

Thanks, Ignatz!


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

Doug, Texting is already specifically banned in this state. I've seen it still going on too often, however.

Nice in A2

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

How very sad. All my best to the family in their time of loss. I hope that this leads to saving lives. Driving is the single most dangerous thing that we do and we do it all the time. It deserves our utmost attention.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Very sad - hence the no texting when driving law - my condolances to the family


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

I can not believe we have lost such a great person. My prayers, heart, and soul are with the children and family. I love you all, stay strong!


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

So, contrary to yesterday's speculation, she was wearing a seat belt. How do they know she was texting?


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

eye? My own child who does not drive yet can tell who is texting and not texting. The police cannot be everywhere but yet if a common citizen can call 911 then maybe something could have been averted. In this case? It was too late to do anything about it. Very sad and very tragic.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

@jns: What simple law do you suggest? Texting is already illegal in Michigan and it seems as though that wasn't enough to prevent it.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

Who ever received the message is how they find out. They can also get records of this as well. What a tragedy. A simple law that could be passed and now 4 children are without a parent. Good luck to the children.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

It would be easy to figure out by looking at the phone (if it wasn't destroyed). Sad... At least no one else got killed being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

It is painfully ironic that many of us underestimate what we are capable of accomplishing, and overestimate what we think we can do, despite evidence to the contrary in both situations. This story makes me angry. My deepest condolences to the family and friends Ms. Daugherty leaves behind.

LaWanda Garrett

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

So True! Hope you don't mind my borrowing this! :)


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Very well said.

Berda Green

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

so sorry to hear praying for the family


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

My thought are with her family and loved ones. Enough said.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

A tragic loss for the family. Prayers go out to them. This is very unfortunate, and people need to take this as a reminder that NO text message can replace YOU if something like this happens.

Superior Twp voter

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

So very sad, and needless...... feel really bad for her children. Yesterday near Metro Airport on I-275, I observed a man "driving" - smoking a cig while reading the newspaper, 65 mph in the left lane (three lane hwy), absolutely oblivious to any and everything happening around him.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

How about the people driving with "manufacturer" plates looking at their laptops as they drive down the road.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

A perspective lost Empty fields sway in mourning We kiss our mothers


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

I am very sorry for her family's loss. My sincere condolences to them. This is a good reminder for every busy person out there - don't telecommunicate until your car is in park. Safety first!


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

What a horrible tragedy. My prayer are with family and friends of this young woman.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Sad, very sad, I wish her familly well as they struggle through this.


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Condolences for her kids and the rest of their family


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Daugherty heart goes out to your entire family..


Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

Heartfelt condolences to the Daugherty family; hugs to her children.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

ditto.... a sad thing for those left behind.

Cindy Heflin

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

We ask that commenters please follow our guidelines regarding tragic deaths. Here's a link for your reference:


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Just out of curiousity, if it had been a DUI-related death would still judge it "tragic"?