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Trial begins in double fatality case

April 22, 2014

ESCANABA — Witnesses at a fatal accident testified in court Monday, recalling what they saw seconds before a logging truck ran a red light and collided with a vehicle in a Gladstone intersection las......

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Apr-26-14 12:05 PM

Yooper342 Come back to reality!!! What is your drug of choice must be alcohol!! Marijuana is here so get over it, believe it or not it does help a lot of people. I do not know the stats but I would say for every one accident that someone has a elevated level of THC in their blood there is a million that have alcohol in their blood!!

It will not be long and marijuana is going to be completely in this country and it should be!!

Maybe they should outlaw alcohol again, now that would save some lives!!

So you think folks that smoke pot are low lives?? Well wake up sunshine it is used by people from all walks of life!!

It is used by doctors, nurses,teachers,union workers,cops.athletes, etc...etc...

Think about that Yooper342 next time you have a beer!! Maybe they think you are the low life!!

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Apr-25-14 10:01 PM


A reasonable person has to wonder.

A reasonable person has to wonder many things.

A reasonable person has to wonder why

- the daily press failed to report a very serious and disturbing piece of the accident puzzle

- that involved too many conditions and events that surrounded and leading up to cause . . .

- the perfect storm,

- at the perfect intersection

- at the coincidence of exact time to within seconds, and

- at the exact place within just a few feet?

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Apr-25-14 10:00 PM

At the trial on Thursday,

the defense asked the judge if [he] could bring evidence before the jury

- that the victim “had been drinking . . “

- that the blood alcohol content of the victim that was driving the vehicle that was struck . . .

- the defense attorney stated that Thomas Swift, who was killed in the crash,

- had a blood alcohol level of .07 and was not wearing a seat belt.

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Apr-25-14 9:59 PM

In a report presented by Upper Michigan Source

“Judge Claims Blood Alcohol Content of Victim Irrelevant.”



The judge denied this request, stating that a driver has a reasonable expectation to safety when going through an intersection with a green light.

- drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle.

One has to wonder if the daily mess has also considered this fact


for its readers?

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Apr-25-14 9:55 PM

A reasonable person

has to wonder why the judge in this case allowed the past and present history and tests as admissible evidence into court proceeding for the truck driver,


FAILED MISERABLY to allow the past history and tests to be presented as admissible evidence regarding the driver of the struck vehicle in this case?

Could the jury have had a different outcome if the judge had allowed admission of the fact that the vehicle driver

“had been drinking” and

had a blood alcohol level of 0.07 ?

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Apr-25-14 9:54 PM

In all of the press articles,

there is no mention of the name of judge in this case.

A reasonable person has to wonder if the judge had knowledge of the deceased or was a friend of the deceased,

and perhaps disqualified himself ?

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Apr-25-14 9:53 PM

According to the NHTSA,

laboratory and on-road research

shows that the vast majority of drivers are


at .08 with regard to critical driving tasks such as

- braking,

- steering,

- lane changing,

- judgment and

- divided attention. . .

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Apr-25-14 9:52 PM

The minimum limit of blood alcohol content in Michigan is

0.08, or

just ONE one-hundredth of point more than the victim driver.

If a person blew .07, they could be arrested or fined in many states because of federal standards.

Drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle

A fatality in a crash is nine times more likely when one of the crash-involved operators is reported as

“had been drinking.”

- Source: Univ of MI Transportation Research Institute.

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Apr-25-14 9:51 PM

According to published documents, people with BAC of .030 - .090 tend to have behaviors of

- blunted feelings,

- disinhibition,

- extroversion, and may have

- impairment difficulties involving

- concentration,

- reason,

- depth perception,

- peripheral vision, and

- glare recovery.

- remember the accident happened March 20, at 08:21 pm

- was the intersection at that time of the year in darkness,

- could depth perception and other things cause driver impairment.



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Apr-23-14 9:50 PM

Indeed, this accident is a terrible tragedy.

I read where the truck drive was tested for "impaired driving".

But, NOWHERE did the press article mention if the other driver was tested in similar fashion, to determine, if he suffered a stroke, heart attack, or anything else that might be a contributing factor or possible reason for this tragic accident.

Is the reason this possibility was not presented in the article another case of sloppy reporting by the press, or was there no testing of the deceased driver for possible linkages to stroke, heart attack or any other number of factors contributing to something in the nature to impair his driving?

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Apr-23-14 1:51 PM

Yooper342, I sure would like to see your data. Sounds like conjecture to me.

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Apr-23-14 11:09 AM

This driver does not even know how to do a inspection, the company proabley did not have a honest mechanic in the first place. It is a game these trucking companies play all the time. How many get caught? Odds are in their favor.Plus they hire low life's who smoke pot. Yes dope smokers are a risk to all of us on the road. Quit trying to say there are safe levels of THC in the body. Get used to it people, more accidents are happening that involve THC since we are now allowing medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington are already showing facts to back this up.

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Apr-22-14 2:12 PM

If the driver's lawyer says that Tom Swift should have seen the semi, then it follows that the semi driver should have seen the Swift's car in front of him. Can't have it both ways. Besides, the Swifts entered the intersection with a green light and were legally waiting to make a turn. Yes, we should all be alert and watch for people who aren't paying attention, etc., but to blame someone who as far as I can tell was driving legally is beyond belief. It also sounds like the trucking company who employed the driver was negligent, first by not maintaining the truck properly; second by allowing someone with a suspended license to drive their vehicle; and third by not drug testing their employee. I know THC stays in the system a long time and he may not have been impaired at the time of the accident but he clearly had been smoking at some time and could well have been behind the wheel when he was under the influence.

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Apr-22-14 2:08 PM

I have a SERIOUS problem with the defense lawyer.. First and foremost, his client did NOT have a valid Drivers license.. So it is his fault. He never should have gotten behind the wheel of that logging truck. Bad brakes and being stoned added to the Killing of Tom and Barb Swift. I have been praying for justice since March 20th, 2013. My Mother and Tom are (were) cousins, and very close.. Her heart aches ever day for the lose of Tom and Barb, and for their children.

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Apr-22-14 1:25 PM

This is no doubt tragic. The lawyer trying to blame the Swift family is garbage too. However, the lawyer for the defense made some good points. The THC and the suspended license didn't cause this wreck. The truck should have never left the lot and owner of the company knows this very well.

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Apr-22-14 1:02 PM

Only 21 percent of the brakes working! This truck should have never left the drive way. Sounds to me like the driver never did his pre-trip inspection.

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Apr-22-14 11:22 AM

OMG his lawyer is really going to blame the car he hit. Must be paying that guy big bucks. My heart goes out to the Swift Family, I don't know if I could sit in that court room & listen to that BS. God help the jury to see through this!!!

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