DUI crash victim leaves hospital, describes brush with death
NEAR PORT ORCHARD -- Troopers say a Tacoma bodybuilder got drunk and crashed head-on with a pick-up last Thursday, killing himself and seriously injuring another driver.
That other driver, Anthony Swinsinski, spent several days in the hospital, but now he's home and talking about this brush with death.
"I can't feel this one at all," Swinsinski said, touching one of the toes on his right foot.
Swinsinski has a cast up to his knee, and his trip home from the hospital proved unexpectedly difficult, as he deals with the physical and emotional scars of being hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver.
"I'm kind of terrified to be in cars now," he said.
Swinsinski, 27, has a badly broken ankle but knows he could easily have been killed after troopers say another motorist did a U-turn on Highway 16 near Port Orchard, and came at him the wrong way.
"He hit the car, like really fast, and then both cars separated. I remember that," he said.
Troopers say the drunk driving suspect died at the scene. KOMO 4 News has since learned that driver was Delfin Ignacio, a competitive bodybuilder from Tacoma. A check of court records shows he'd been arrested for DUI twice before, in 2003 and again in 2009.
"I thought it was extremely ironic that he's a bodybuilder, he's into fitness, but he poisons himself and gets behind the wheel of a car," Swinsinski said.
Swinsinski said the death is especially tragic given the Memorial Day weekend comes with fresh warnings about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Swinsinski now faces months of physical rehabilitation. His family set up a go-fund-me account to help pay the bills while he's off work, and people who are interested can find more information here.
He is also trying to promote a new fantasy novel he just wrote, but says his focus in the coming weeks will be moving past this brush with death.
"To me, now a car is a weapon," he said. "It's a 2,000 pound weapon that can end your life."