North Liberty teen charged with vehicular homicide following crash last year

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 10, 2012 6:30 AM

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A North Liberty teen was arrested Sept. 6 in connection with the auto accident that killed Mackenzie Lown, a 14-year-old student at Clear Creek Amana High School, last year. Zachary Swenka, 19, was released from the Johnson County Jail the morning of Sept. 7 after a court appearance, according to jail officials.

According to an Iowa State Patrol criminal complaint, Zachary Swenka was the driver of a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina with five passengers traveling east on Highway 6 near Kent Park in rural Johnson County. The complaint said Swenka was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. Swenka had allegedly bragged previously about how fast he could drive.

According to the complaint, several of the passengers asked Swenka to slow down. He allegedly laughed and did not slow down. Swenka then lost control of the van and drifted into the westbound lane, colliding with an oncoming van, according to the complaint.

The complaint said during the collision, Mackenzie Lown was fatally injured.

Attempts to contact the Iowa State Patrol and Johnson County prosecutor Janet Lyness on Friday were unsuccessful.

Swenka is charged with vehicular homicide, a Class-D felony.

— by Matt Starns

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