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Braham Woman Charged in Traffic Death of American Legion Commander

A Braham woman was charged with a misdemeanor Monday in connection with a fatal accident in December.

45-year-old Heidi Butau was charged for failing to obey a stop sign northeast of Cambridge in Chisago County on December 10th when her car hit another. That collision killed 75-year-old John Ploetz of Harris, longtime owner of Lofgren Trucking in Rush City and commander of the Harris American Legion. Ploetz ran Lofgren Trucking for 30 years out of Rush City until 2005.

She's been convicted in Minnesota eight times for speeding, two times for driving with a suspended license, twice for using expired vehicle tabs, and lastly for running a stop sign. Her license was valid at the time of the crash.

Butau’s cell phone wasn’t inspected until 2 weeks after the crash, at which point it had been wiped clean. Due to that, investigators couldn’t determine if she was using the phone at the time of the crash.

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