Tragic inat­ten­tion

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page - Mark Don­ald­son

IT was a mo­ment of inat­ten­tion with fa­tal con­se­quences.

It led to the ag­o­nis­ing death of a re­spected com­mu­nity man and tor­ment for his fam­ily mem­bers, who watched him de­te­ri­o­rate in hos­pi­tal in the weeks af­ter a car crash in Gir­rawheen last year.

And it meant the driver re­spon­si­ble for the col­li­sion, Darch mother Yan­fang Yu (34), was left dis­traught with a man’s death on her con­science.

Mag­is­trate Gre­gory Benn on Tues­day de­scribed the death of 90year-old Wa­syl Czw­erenczuk as “an ab­so­lute tragedy” when he sen­tenced Yu in Joon­dalup Mag­is­trates Court af­ter she pleaded guilty to care­less driv­ing caus­ing death.

She was at­tempt­ing to turn right from Maranga­roo Drive on to Gir­rawheen Av­enue about 11am on Septem­ber 2 when she crossed into the path of an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle driven by Mr Czw­erenczuk and caused a col­li­sion.

The court heard Mr Czw­erenczuk did not die un­til Septem­ber 27 af­ter go­ing through weeks of pain in hos­pi­tal.

De­spite the prose­cu­tion strongly push­ing for im­pris­on­ment, Yu re­ceived a $5000 fine, a 12-month driv­ing ban and a crim­i­nal record.

Mr Czw­erenczuk’s daugh­ter Maria, son-in-law David and two grand­chil­dren Natasha and Ja­son, all with the sur­name Ab­bott, were in court for Yu’s sen­tenc­ing.

The crash hap­pened on Yu’s birth­day, but also a day be­fore Fa­ther’s Day and two days be­fore Ja­son’s birth­day. Ja­son spoke on be­half of the fam­ily out­side court, with his mother and fa­ther too up­set to speak.

“We re­spect the judge’s de­ci­sion and are grate­ful for the chance he pro­vided us to give grandad a voice through the vic­tim im­pact state­ment,” he said.

“There can be no win­ners in a sit­u­a­tion like this. Fa­ther’s Day and my birth­day will for­ever be re­mem­bered for be­ing in hos­pi­tal stroking grandad’s head.”

Czw­erenczuk’s death 25 days later.

“He was in agony for all those 25 days… all of this suf­fer­ing was brought about by Ms Yu’s care­less ma­noeu­vre,” he said.

De­fence lawyer Jun Khew Wong said his client, who cried through­out the hear­ing, wanted to “un­re­servedly apol­o­gise to the fam­ily”.

Mr Czw­erenczuk’s grand­daugh­ter Natasha said the fam­ily had not spo­ken with her.

“She will live with this for the rest of her life, just like we will too; as much as she might want to say sorry, we might want to say other things that aren’t very pleas­ant,” she said.

Mr Benn said Yu’s crime was a “clas­sic in­stance of fail­ure to keep due care and at­ten­tion”.

He ac­cepted Yu “sim­ply did not see” the vic­tim’s ve­hi­cle but this led to the “most se­ri­ous and tragic re­sult pos­si­ble”.

“I see your level of re­morse at the bar ta­ble and I see your tears,” he said.

He re­fused Mr Wong’s sub­mis­sion for a spent con­vic­tion be­cause “an em­ployer has the right to know of this of­fence”.

Mr Czw­erenczuk was a loved mem­ber of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and a for­mer head of se­cu­rity with the Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia, hav­ing worked his way up as a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer.

Ja­son said his grand­fa­ther was ac­tive with the Ukrainian church, sang in the choir and vis­ited his wife’s grave ev­ery Satur­day.

Wa­syl Czw­erenczuk.

The vic­tim’s daugh­ter Maria Ab­bott with hus­band David af­ter the hear­ing.

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