Roncelli cleared of wrongdoing in driving fatality
By Lisa Brody
Former Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli was cleared of all civil responsibility in a fatal pedestrian accident on Maple west of Coolidge in Birmingham on September 22, 2020, after the estate of the deceased filed a civil lawsuit against her and Bloomfield Township.
Birmingham police and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office had previously declined to file criminal charges.
In January 2022, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Victoria Valentine signed an order dismissing the plaintiff's complaint against Roncelli, with prejudice and without costs, interest or attorney fees.
On September 22, 2020, at 3:30 a.m., Birmingham police dispatch reported they received a 911 call from the driver, a female from Bloomfield, who stated she hit a person while driving westbound on Maple. Roncelli told officers she passed through the intersection of Maple and Coolidge on a green light when she struck the pedestrian. Roncelli reported she was coming home from working at a family business.
Officers located a 30-year-old male from Birmingham who was laying in the roadway who succumbed to his injuries. Toxicology reports determined the man, Bradley Bauer, had a drug alcohol level of .34 and was using tranquilizers.
It was determined Roncelli did not have any drugs or alcohol in her system, and from accident recreation and the accident report, it is believed Bauer ran into the driver's side of Roncelli's vehicle as she passed through the intersection. Surveillance photographs from near the crash site indicate Roncelli's vehicle had been stopped at a red light at Maple and Coolidge and the light had just turned green when the accident occurred. It did not appear Bauer was in a crosswalk. Roncelli was not charged in the accident.
Roncelli, like other elected officials at the time and township department heads, was given a township-issued SUV, which she was driving at the time of the accident. Subsequently, Bloomfield Township officials changed the policy and no longer drive township-issued vehicles.
Roncelli retired as township clerk in November 2020.
In a closed session during the township's board of trustees meeting on January 10, trustees met to discuss a proposed settlement agreement with the estate. It is expected to be announced at an upcoming township board meeting, and is expected to be a moderate five-figure settlement between Bloomfield Township and the estate.