Pushing For Change To Honor A Son

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – 22-year-old Brandon Mitchner was a devoted son, brother and friend. Growing up he was the youngest of six children in the Mitchner household.

He graduated from Grand Ledge High School in 2010 and from there he went to Lansing Community College graduating with an Associate’s Degree in marketing.

Then shock came to the Mitchner family when Brandon lost his life after drowning in the Grand River on June 28, 2014.

Brandon went out to celebrate a friends 21st birthday party on a party bus where drinking was involved. Later that night he decided to walk home from downtown Lansing where he then fell into the Grand River.

An acquaintence of Brandon’s was a few steps behind him, and according to his mother her son fell into the water and the person walking heard the splash. She says the acquaintence claims to have looked for him but left without calling 9-1-1.

Now the Mitchner family is pushing to get “A Duty To Act” law passed that will penalize any bystandard who doesn’t call 9-1-1 when they know someone is in distress.

“It can’t bring Brandon back,” Shirley Mitchner says. “But maybe it could save somebody, maybe it could save another life.”

Shirley Mitchner is the mother of Brandon. She reached out to  Senator Rick Jones of the 24th District to talk about her sons death.

Now Jones is seeking other legislators to gauge interest in the bill and to see if there is a possibility to bring a law to Michigan.

“If you and I make an agreement we’re going to walk a couple of blocks and suddenly you fall into the river or something terrible happens,” Jones says. “Shouldn’t you have the duty to call 9-1-1?”

There are only four other states that have a similar law in place, however, those states have it as a criminal offense. Jones says if he were to pursuit creation of the law, he would pursuit it to be a civil action with a big fine and not a criminal offense in Michigan.

But until a law is created the Mitchner family will continue to fight for a change in honor of their son.



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