Man sentenced in death of highway worker

Mirror staff

A Federal Way man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for driving under the influence of drugs and killing a state highway worker on State Route 18 last August.

In December, Stig Swanson, 55, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of a powerful painkiller called Oxycontin, used to treat moderate to severe, long-term pain with effects similar to morphine or heroin.

The standard sentencing range for vehicular homicide is three years to four years, but King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng asked for an exceptional sentence based on Swanson’s level of intoxication and the vulnerability of the victim, spokesman Dan Donohoe said.

Swanson told police after his arrest he had taken one of the pills a couple hours before he got behind the wheel of a friend’s pickup truck.

Department of Transportation worker Wayne “Jake” Baardson, 50, was working on the shoulder of SR-18 when he was struck and killed instantly by the truck driven by Swanson.

At a hospital where he was taken for treatment of injuries in the accident, a State Patrol detective noted Swanson’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his pupils were pinpoints. Several times during an interview, Swanson fell asleep, authorities said.

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