Driver in Crash That Killed Clear Creek Amana Student Could Face Charges
By Vanessa Miller, Reporter
JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa — Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said her office only recently received a crash report from the deadly accident that killed 14-year-old Clear Creek Amana High School student Mackenzie Lown in October, and Lyness said she’s still considering whether to file charges against the driver.
The crash occurred on Oct. 17 on Highway 6 near Tiffin. Zachary Swenka, an 18-year-old Clear Creek Amana High School student at the time, was driving himself and five passengers — including Lown — when his vehicle veered to the right and then swerved back, crossing the centerline and colliding with an oncoming minivan, according to the Iowa State Patrol.
Part of the left rear section of Swenka’s car was torn off, and Lown was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. The students were traveling from a cross-country practice at Kent Park to the high school at the time of the collision, according to Lown’s parents.
The Iowa State Patrol only recently wrapped up its investigation and passed the case over to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office a few weeks ago for consideration of charges, Lyness said. Her office has not made a final decision about whether to file charges against Swenka, she said, adding that the case is “still in the investigation stage.”
Lown’s parents have filed two lawsuits in connection with their daughter’s death — the first one was against Swenka and the second one, which was filed last week, names the Clear Creek Amana School District as the defendant.
The lawsuit against Swenka, which accused him of accelerating to an “extremely high rate of speed while traveling through an ‘S’ curve,” was dismissed, according to court records. The second lawsuit accuses the district of violating its own policy by failing to provide safe transportation for cross-country students going to and from practice.
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