Fatal accident: Crash case bound over

ESCANABA – A Gwinn truck driver, accused of being responsible for the deaths of an Escanaba couple this spring, was bound over from Delta County District Court to circuit court Monday.

Harley Davidson Durocher, 24, faces six 15-year felonies in the deaths of Thomas and Barbara Swift including two counts each of reckless driving, driving with the presence of a controlled substance, and driving with a suspended license.

Thomas Swift, 73, was killed in the three-vehicle accident in Gladstone on March 20 when Durocher allegedly failed to stop at a red light on U.S. 2 and 41/M-35 at South Hill Road. Swift’s wife, Barbara, 73, died from her injuries four days later.

The third driver, Joyce Scheriff, 72, of Gladstone, was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital where she was admitted for treatment and later released. Durocher was not injured in the accident.

During Durocher’s preliminary hearing in district court Monday, testimony was presented by police and witnesses at the scene.

According to Gladstone Public Safety, the investigating agency, Durocher was driving a logging truck north on the highway when he failed to stop at a red light at the intersection at 8:21 p.m.

The semi truck struck the Swift vehicle, which was facing west and attempting to make a left turn to go south onto the highway. Scheriff’s westbound vehicle was on the right side of the Swift vehicle when the collision occurred in the intersection.

Following testimony, Judge Glenn Pearson determined there was probable cause a crime was committed and that Durocher was involved. The case was bound over to the higher court. No court date has been scheduled yet.

The specific counts Durocher is charged with are: two counts of operating a motor vehicle with the presence of a controlled substance (marijuana) causing death; two counts of reckless driving causing death; and two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license causing death.

Durocher remains lodged in Delta County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.