Gwinn man sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for fatal accident

A Gwinn man, whose reckless driving claimed the lives of a 73-year-old couple, will spend up to 15 years in prison.

Harley Durocher, 25, was sentenced in Delta County Circuit Court Monday for two counts of driving with a suspended or revoked license causing death, two counts of reckless driving causing death, and two counts of operating under the influence of a controlled substance causing death. Durocher was found guilty on all charges after a two-day trial.

All six counts stem from an incident last March, during which Durocher ran a red light at US-2 & 41 and South Hill Road in Gladstone before striking a vehicle driven by 73-year-old Thomas Swift of Escanaba. Swift was pronounced dead on the scene. His 73-year-old wife, Barbara, died several days later from injuries sustained during the crash.

In addition to serving a minimum of five years behind bars, Durocher will pay $340 in state costs and fines, $13 to the county, and $117 to the state’s Crime Victim Fund. The victims’ family will also receive $23,905.32 in restitution from Durocher.

Although he has been given credit for 29 days served, the lightest of Durocher’s six sentences, all of which run concurrently, spans three years time. His Driver’s license will also be revoked as a result.