Local parents sue driver who killed their daughter in a car accident

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 23, 2012 6:30 AM

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The parents of a 14-year-old Clear Creek/Amana High School student who died in a car accident are suing the driver and owner of the car.

Mackenzie Lown died on October 17, 2011 as a result of fatal injuries she suffered from the violent impact of the crash, according to the lawsuit. Zachary Swenka, 18, who was driving the vehicle at the time, accelerated to an extremely high rate of 100 mph in a 55-mph zone while traveling through an S curve and crossing a bridge. The car then left and returned to the roadway, crossed the centerline, and collided with an oncoming vehicle, according to court documents.

Mackenzie's parents, Michael Lown and Kelly Smith, are suing Swenka, alleging their daughter's death resulted from his reckless operation of the vehicle, driving at an excessive speed, and failing to maintain control of his vehicle, according to court documents.

Lown and Smith are seeking damages including "the expenses and loss of services, companionship and society" as a result of her death, including physical damages suffered by their daughter.

The lawsuit also says Lown's parents are suing Lillian Olson, the owner of the vehicle, because she is liable for damages resulting from her given consent to Swenka to drive her car.  

— by Beth Bratsos

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