Sergeant Kills One, Injures Two in Fatal Crash
(WI) – 15-year veteran police sergeant, Gregory Matthew Swanson, is behind bars after a fatal crash. Sergeant Swanson was off-duty in the early hours of Friday, when he rear-ended a vehicle carrying four people. The crash was so severe that one of the occupants was killed and two others were taken to the hospital. The 23-year old male who was killed has not been identified, but it is believed that he is from Eau Claire.
Sergeant Swanson was arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office “on a preliminary charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.” Swanson, who is a police officer with the Superior Police Department, is currently in the Douglas County Jail.
Criminal Investigation Begins
Fox21Online.com on the press release from the Superior Police Department,
Chief Alexander stated in a press release,
“the Superior Police Department has a practice of requesting an outside agency to investigate critical incidents that involve our officers. The purpose of this is to maintain transparency and to help promote public confidence in the process. As a result, the Douglas County Sheriff’s office, and the Wisconsin State Patrol, were requested to investigate this incident.”
Due to the recentness of the accident, very few details have been released. We can infer from the charge that Swanson was driving while intoxicated.
The normal information obtained during a criminal investigation would include where he was before the accident, the speed he was driving, and his level of intoxication. None of that information has been released to the public at this time. We don’t know if he was taken to the hospital then to jail or if he was cleared by EMT’s at the scene. When someone is determined to be intoxicated, they can be tested with a breathalyzer or by a blood draw. What was used on Sergeant Swanson? Hopefully, these questions will be answered soon.
Special Prosecutor Being Assigned
Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf said he will request that a special prosecutor be appointed from an outside office to review the matter for charges and, if charges are issued, to prosecute the case.
Swanson has worked closely with the DA’s office and its prosecutors on many cases over the years, Fruehauf said in a news release, and a special prosecutor will ensure the matter is objectively reviewed and handled.
The above statement, “if charges are issued,” is why it’s so important to find out things like what Swanson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was and the speed he was driving. If they waited too long to test his intoxication level, and let it to go below the legal limit, this could be classified as an accident.
Different agencies investigating and a special prosecutor being sought are fine, but it’s concerning that relevant details haven’t been released yet. The level of intoxication of a suspect is one of the first things the police normally get. They get it so quickly that the number is included in the police reports they write. Why hasn’t that information been released like it usually is for everyone else?
Gregory Matthew Swanson
All we know about Greg Swanson’s professional life is that he is a sergeant with the Superior Police Department. He has been with them for 15 years and he has worked closely with the district attorney’s office. No information has been given as to what area he worked, his disciplinary background, or complaints made against him.
Greg Swanson has been placed on administrative leave while the crash is being investigated. His bail hearing is on Monday.