Trial date postponed in fatal crash

ESCANABA – The trial for a truck driver from Gwinn – accused of causing the deaths of an Escanaba couple last spring – has been postponed from December to February, according to Delta County Circuit Court officials.

Harley Davidson Durocher, 25, was scheduled to be tried beginning Dec. 2 on six felonies related to the deaths of Thomas Swift, 73, and his wife, Barbara Swift, 73, last March.

During a hearing in circuit court on Monday, the five-day trial was postponed and rescheduled for the week of Feb. 10.

Durocher was driving a semi truck in Gladstone when he allegedly failed to stop at a red light on U.S. 2& 41/M-35 and collided with the Swift’s car on March 20.

Thomas, the driver of the vehicle, was killed in the accident. Barbara, a passenger in the car, 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 where she was admitted for treatment and later released.

Durocher, who was not injured in the accident, is charged with the following 15-year felonies: 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.

According to Gladstone Public Safety, Durocher was driving a logging truck north on the highway when he did not stop at a red light at the South Hill Road intersection at 8:21 p.m.

The semi truck struck the Swift car 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 Delta County Jail. He was originally lodged in jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,