CASTLE ROCK, Colo. - Jurors in Douglas County delivered a guilty verdict in the case against a DUI driver who walked away from the scene of a fatal crash after running over a 24-year-old man on the highway.
The victim, Nelson Marvin Canada, was a passenger in a Ford Expedition on Interstate 25 when he demanded the driver of that SUV pull over and let him drive. He believed that friend was drunk. This was around 2 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2012.
Canada stepped outside the vehicle after it had stopped in the right lane near mile marker 183 and was hit by a Ford Excursion traveling at 80 mph, said Michelle Yi, spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney.
"The defendant in this case was so intoxicated that he never saw the vehicle or Mr. Canada," Deputy District Attorney Kelly LaFave said in a statement provided by Yi. "He made no effort to stop; instead he slammed into the rear of the Expedition running over Nelson Canada in the process."
Canada was thrown 124 feet and suffered multiple injuries in an impact powerful enough to knock off his shoes.
After the crash, 43-year-old Daniel Swecker got out of the Excursion, called his wife and walked more than a mile to a gas station where she picked him up, Yi said. He did not try to help or call 911.
Swecker's wife eventually drove him back to the scene of the crash 40 minutes later.
Swecker had a blood alcohol content of 0.118, well over the legal limit of 0.08, when tested about an hour and 43 minutes after the 911 call.
On Tuesday, the jury convicted Swecker on charges of vehicular homicide involving DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11 and he faces punishment ranging from probation up to 12 years in prison for each count.