Man gets 1 year for crash deaths near Turlock

local@modbee.comAugust 22, 2013 

— A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation for recklessly driving a car in a 2011 crash near Turlock in which all three of his passengers died.

Alexander Lloyd Swanton of Turlock was driving the 2007 Cadillac CTS about 119 mph and had floored the gas pedal moments before the car veered off the road and rolled over multiple times, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.

Swanton's three friends, Dominic Coelho Jr., 23, Duarte Nunes, 39, and Zachary Baker, 23, were his passengers in the Cadillac. None of them was wearing a seat belt and all were ejected from the car.

Prosecutors said investigators determined drugs or alcohol did not play a role in the wreck. The crash occurred about 1:15 a.m. June 28, 2011, on Walnut Road north of Harding Road, just southwest of Turlock.

The California Highway Patrol said the Cadillac overturned into a nearby alfalfa field. The crash left debris scattered nearly 100 yards into the field.

The CHP reported at the time that Swanton, who was wearing his seat belt, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

On April 16, Swanton was convicted of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. District Attorney Anthony Colacito prosecuted the case.

Swanton was sentenced during a hearing July 25. The defendant also received a 10-year suspended prison sentence, which means the court can order him to spend more time behind bars if he commits another crime in the next 10 years.

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