An important question

I’m sorry my mind thinks this way, but it does, and I need to satisfy an important question. Were Jennifer Bukosky and the children in her car wearing seat belts?

I think the information is important and relevant to the story I will tell my daughter, who is 16 and testing for her license next week. What happened in this horrible tragedy should not be trivialized. But the details should not be withheld.

This morning I contacted a Journal Sentinel reporter to see if she had an answer. She said the information was “irrelevant.” I also called the City of Oconomowoc Police Department. They refused to disclose the information but said I could file an open records request if I was unhappy with their response.

Let me explain again, slamming into a car while under the influence is wrong. But to me, an important component of explaining the tragedy is knowing if seat belts were used.

Like I said, I apologize for thinking so much. But I would still like to know. It doesn’t make the situation any less desperate, but in my mind the information would providing missing pieces to a tragic story.

(UPDATE – see here.)


  1. I guarantee you that those same reporters are very quick to note whether or not a motorcycle rider was wearing a helmet even though that’s discretionary while seat belt use is law. Just goes to show their bias and hypocrisy!

  2. If it makes you feel any better, Cindy, I also had a strange question that’s been nagging me.

    What happened to Benson, who was a surgeon of good repute from what I hear, to this poor little man that killed those innocents? Don’t get me wrong, he should receive the full consequences for his actions, but I can’t help but wonder what shattered his world so much that he went out of control?

    And let us keep in mind one simple truth, especially when it would be so easy to just chew him up and spit him out: There, but for the grace of God, go I.

  3. BrkfldDad says:

    Rumor has it that he had major back surgery (not sure if it when wrong) and is in chronic debilitating pain. Pain and easy access to prescript meds is not a good potion.

  4. FWIW, I don’t recall a mention either way (that includes the Waukesha Freeman) and I think if they hadn’t been wearing them it would have been mentioned. But that’s just my 2 cents.

    As you say, they may have thought it was irrelevant, that Benson was the main part of the story.

  5. Just to clarify, the papers’ reponses are ‘polite and politically correct’. I feel certain that they are not trying to avoid sharing details or hiding relevants factors. I am a member of the extended family of Jen Bukosky and I can tell you with certainty, knowing the more graphic details of the consequences of this violent accident, no seatbelts would have prevented their injuries from being fatal. In a crash of stationary object versus 50 mph hour multi-ton vehicle, a strap of material does little to protect you. The papers are respecting the families, I’m sure, by not being more direct in their responses, but what they said is accurate: with a crash of this magnitude, the seatbelts were irrelevant.

  6. Michael Bukosky says:

    I can assure you as well as prove in the police reports that all were wearing seat belts. That is a common practice in my family and Jenn was the enforcer of that. We could have had a seatbelt on Sophia if it was possible.

  7. Michael – I know there’s some kind of fund set up at the school, but is there a family education fund for her son? Thanks for answering if you get a chance.