'Mike's Law' proposal honors slain truckerDecember 17, 2014
Correction: Because of a reporter’s error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Small Business in Transportation Coalition had been involved in the push to create Jason’s Law, which addresses safe roadside parking lots. The SBTC website said it is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration to increase safe truck parking in all states. The story has been corrected below.
By BILL POWELL
Herald Staff Writer
FERDINAND — The mother of a Ferdinand trucker murdered in Detroit supports a transportation coalition’s push for federal legislation allowing truckers to carry firearms from state to state, although she says it is unknown if such a law would have benefitted her son.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition is circulating a petition asking for a federal law so truckers can carry firearms for personal and load protection. As drafted, the SBTC-backed legislation would create “Mike’s Law” in memory of Ferdinand trucker Mike Boeglin, 30.
Boeglin’s body was found in the burned shell of his semi in the early morning hours June 26 on Detroit’s west side. An autopsy found he died from multiple gunshot wounds. There have been no breaks in the case, Detroit police said Tuesday.
Boeglin and his 28-year-old wife, the former Ashley Clark, were awaiting the birth of their first child at the time of his death. Ashley gave birth to a healthy baby girl Nov. 28.
The SBTC bills itself as a network of transportation professionals, associations and industry suppliers seeking to promote and protect the small business players in the transportation industry. It sees the proposed Mike’s Law as a way to address a current landscape where conceal-and-carry laws can vary from state to state. Right now, the coalition says, truckers may have a conceal and carry permit in one state, but that permit doesn’t apply to every other state.
New trucking safety legislation has made it into law as recently as late in 2012. “Jason’s Law” was created to benefit commercial truckers after truck driver Jason Rivenburg was robbed and murdered after pulling into an abandoned roadside gas station for rest in South Carolina when no rest stations were nearby.
Jason’s Law garnered bipartisan support and was passed as part of the federal Transportation Reauthorization Bill. It provided more than $6 million in federal funding toward the construction and restoration of safe roadside parking lots where truck drivers can rest.
The SBTC website said it is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration to increase safe truck parking in all states.
The Herald could not reach a SBTC source to explore the status of the current Mike’s Law petition drive.
Darlene Boeglin, Mike’s mother, supports the idea behind Mike’s Law but knows it would not be a panacea.
“It’s only going to help the people in the right situation at the right time,” says the woman who operates the Ferdy Flyer, the Ferdinand restaurant where Mike first saw Ashley. “I think probably it would be a good thing but, in Mike’s situation, even if he would have carried a gun, I’m not going to say it would have saved his life.
“It depends on the situation.”
In Mike’s case, Ashley phoned him at 11:32 p.m. June 25 and, for 28 minutes, they talked about the baby, work they would do to Mike’s semi trailer when he rolled home and the ongoing renovations to their house. They said goodbye and ended their call as Mike neared a weigh station at the Michigan state line.
Mike was delivering aluminum coils to a ThyssenKrupp steel plant in Detroit. He parked at an abandoned sports complex near the steel plant. Mike had five and a half hours to sleep before he could make his delivery.
Firefighters who extinguished a blaze that decimated Mike’s silver Freightliner discovered his badly burned body inside.
Darlene said it is unknown exactly what happened but a robber could have jumped on Mike’s rig’s running board and pulled a gun on him just as he was stopping.
“It’s too late at that point to reach around to wherever you may be having your gun stashed away,” she said.
On the home front, Darlene said her daughter-in-law is surrounded by family all clamoring to hold her granddaughter: Mackenzie Albury Boeglin.
Darlene says Albury is one of the towns Mike and Ashley encountered during a month-long honeymoon in 2012 to New Zealand and Australia.
Contact Bill Powell at email@example.com.
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