Deputy statement reveals what may have caused fatal crash

Deputy statement reveals what may have caused fatal crash
Eyewitness News has obtained new documents detailing exactly what Deputy John Swearengin was doing last December when he was involved in an accident that killed two pedestrians.

On December 16, 2011 Swearengin was responding to a call of a stolen vehicle. While heading West on Norris Road, investigators say he truck and killed Daniel Hiler and Chrystal Jolley who were crossing the road near Diane Drive.

Earlier this week the CHP recommended criminal charges be brought against the Deputy in connection with that crash.

Attorney Thomas A. Brill represents the Jolley Family.

"Sheriffs are supposed to be trained in emergency situations to put their lights and sirens on, not to be speeding along before they get permission to do that."

Eyewitness News obtained the documents containing the statement Deputy Swearengin gave to the California Highway Patrol.

The statement says "Swearengin had a larger than normal drink cup in the cup holder located in the center console (a 44 ounce compared to a 32 ounce). The larger cup caused his hand to fumble when he grabbed for the microphone, resulting in the need to look down as he reached around the cup to grab the microphone."

Brill says "it sounded to me that was a way of him protecting himself."

In his statement Swearengin said "only once in a while did he see pedestrians near Diane Drive and Norris Road."

The attorney says that's no excuse for not using his emergency lights.

The CHP is recommending criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence against the deputy.