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Home >> Local News >>

Fatal bridge crash driver admits guilt

Posted at 10:32am Friday 14 Feb, 2014 | By Andrew Campbell andrew@thesun.co.nz

The driver of a car that crossed the centreline into the path of a van that plunged off the Maungatapu Bridge killing Tauranga electrician Greg Woledge last August has admitted to all the charges.

Papamoa man Iain Stewart Crisp, 45, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of 24-year-old Greg Woledge, and to careless driving causing injury to the van's passenger Ashley Donkersly, when he appeared in Tauranga District Court today.

  Iain Crisp in Tauranga District Court today. 

The crash scene on the night of August 12, 2013.

Crisp also admitted that on the day of the crash he sold cannabis, possessed cannabis and cannabis seeds, possessed instruments for smoking cannabis, a tin can and a pipe, and to making a false statement in a log book.

Crisp, who was a bus driver at the time of the crash, was driving a Mitsubishi sedan towards Mount Maunganui when he crossed the centreline colliding with the AMP'T Electrical van driven by Greg about 6.10pm on August 12.

The van was driven through the bridge railing by the impact and fell five metres into the harbour at Rangataua Bay.

Passenger Ashley Donkersly, then 23, managed to escape after the van became submerged. Witnesses saw him struggling in the water and a non-swimmer jumped in tied to a strop, but was unable to reach him.

Ashley was saved by Constable Deane O'Connor, who stripped to his underwear and dived in and grabbed him before they were carried away by the current. Both were suffering from hypothermia by the time they reached shore.

Greg however was trapped inside the van on the driver's side and was unable to be rescued. His body remained in the van and was recovered the following day when the vehicle was lifted from the water by crane.

In court today Crisp's Bill Nabney said his client is seeking a restorative justice conference with the victims' families.

Judge Louis Bidois ordered a report on the result of any restorative justice conference before remanding him on bail for sentencing on April 7. Due to the driving charges, Crisp is ordered not to drive while on bail.

The Judge also told Crisp he is looking at jail as a starting point but gave him credit for his guilty pleas.


COMMENTS

Very relevant

Posted on 16-02-2014 16:41 | By commonsense

What ridiculous comments. To say that you "got to respect a man" for taking responsibility! It's because this drug user DIDNT take responsibility that a young man is dead. Why would anyone respect him? There was obviously so much evidence against him that he had little choice but to plead guilty. And tomahawk kid you too are wrong there were drugs in his system. Let's hope there is a very long prison sentence coming his way.

Fronting up.

Posted on 14-02-2014 18:58 | By Blasta

Though a very unpleasant situation,Mr Crisp has fronted up, taken responsibility and trying his best to make the best for everyone from a bad situation, and from his poor decisions. Got to respect a man for that.

no relevant

Posted on 14-02-2014 13:32 | By The Tomahawk Kid

I understand the sensitivity of this tragedy, but what has the cannabis bit got to do with this tragedy, apart from the fact it is illegal to possess these things. He possibly also has alcohol, glasses and coca cola at home too! and possibly even flour and water and baking soda to make a cake! Although these things are not illegal, they have no relevance to the accident. This is demonising cannabis. If he had been under the influence of cannabis then this would have been relevant and worthy of being in this article. I am all for punishing crimes with victims, but the first paragraph was not related to the incident.

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