The report finds, the driver of the Lumina that struck the Odyssey was driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. That’s exactly what one needs to prove to be get to a jury on the issue of punitive damages. Any fact finder, including a judge, would likely make a similar conclusion.
Using roadway evidence – specifically tire marks – three Iowa State Patrol collision investigators worked independently of each other to try to determine how fast Zachary Swenka was driving when he lost control of the Lumina and collided with an oncoming Honda Odyssey. The investigators all determined Swenka was driving at a speed “greater than thirty miles per hour above the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour,” according to a search warrant affidavit.
“Such a speed, particularly with five passengers, indicates a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the persons or property,” the affidavit reads.
This is another student driver case with the driver bussing high school kids from some sporting event; in this case cross country practice. I’ve been covering this case because it hasn’t been all that uncommon. This is a sad situation, a legal mess and one that will have legal ramifications for years to come. For more details see the articles below.
State Patrol: Teen Was Driving 85+ MPH in Crash That Killed CCA Student
TIFFIN, Iowa — The vehicle involved in the October collision near Tiffin that killed 14-year-old Clear Creek Amana High School student Mackenzie Lown was going more than 85 mph at the time of the crash, according to an unsealed search warrant ...
Iowa State Patrol: Swenka drove at least 85 mph in crash that killed CCA student
Iowa City Press Citizen
Using roadway evidence – specifically tire marks – three Iowa State Patrol collision investigators worked independently of each other to try to determine how fast Zachary Swenka was driving when he lost control of his car and collided with an oncoming ...