Trial date set in fatal crash

ESCANABA – A 24-year-old truck driver from Gwinn – accused of causing the deaths of an Escanaba couple – will be tried on six felonies in connection with the fatal accident.

Harley Davidson Durocher was driving a semi truck in Gladstone when he allegedly failed to stop at a red light on U.S. 2 and 41/M-35 at South Hill Road and collided with a car on March 20.

The driver of the car, Thomas Swift, 73, was killed in the accident. A passenger in his car, Swift’s wife, Barbara, also 73, died from her injuries four days later.

A third motorist involved in the crash, Joyce Scheriff, 72, of Gladstone, was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital. She was admitted for treatment of her injuries and later released. Durocher was not injured in the accident.

During a court proceeding in Delta County Circuit Court on Monday, Judge Stephen Davis set Durocher’s jury trial for the week of Dec. 2.

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

Each felony carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

According to Gladstone Public Safety, the investigating agency, Durocher was driving a logging truck north on the highway when he did not 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.

On June 28, Durocher posted $2,500, or 10 percent of a $25,000 bond, and was released from the Delta County Jail. He was originally lodged in jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.