Jury finds Monument man guilty of killing 24-yr-old while driving drunk

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A Douglas County jury convicted a Monument man Tuesday in a vehicular homicide case involving the death of a 24-year-old.

Daniel Barrett Swecker, 43, was found guilty of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving death in a Douglas County court Tuesday, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 25, 2012.

A witness had contacted the Castle Rock Police Department at about 2 a.m. to inform authorities that a body was lying in the fast lane of southbound Interstate 25 near mile marker 183. Close to the victim’s body were two vehicles, a gold-colored Ford Excursion and a dark-colored Ford Expedition.

The passengers of the Expedition were traveling southbound when 24-year-olf Nelson Marvin Canada, who was sober, demanded they stop the car and let him drive, said the DA’s Office. The driver pulled the vehicle over into the far right lane. Shortly after, Canada exited the car upon which he was struck by the Excursion traveling about 80 miles per hour.

The impact sent Canada about 124 feet. He suffered multiple traumas to his body, including his head, diaphragm and spine. The force of the collision also caused his shoes to fly off and his clothing left visible imprints on the front bumper of the Excursion, the DA’s Office said.

Swecker, the driver of the Excursion, was not injured during the incident.

After the crash, Swecker walked over a mile to a gas station and never called 911. Instead, he contacted his wife, who met him at the station over 40 minutes later and took him back to the scene of the accident.

Colorado State Patrol said Swecker should have been able to see the taillights of the Expedition from a half mile away.

CSP also reported that the defendant registered a blood alcohol content level of .118 almost an hour and 43 minutes after the crash — the legal Colorado limit is .080 BAC.

Detectives from the Castle Rock Police Department worked with CSP on a month-long investigation regarding this case.

“In our community, when a driver — drunk or otherwise — hits a person with their car, morality and the law mandate that the driver choose responsibility over protecting their own behind,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “Here, a drunk driver struck and killed a man, and then walked away — over one mile away — with a cell phone he did not use to call for help, but to call his wife, who took him back to the scene.  The jury made it clear that our community deserves more from those who drive our roads.”

Sentencing for Swecker is scheduled for July 11 at 2:30 p.m. in a Douglas County courthouse.