Sur­geon ad­mits caus­ing fa­tal crash


An US sur­geon has ad­mit­ted caus­ing a dou­ble-fa­tal­ity road crash near Rich­mond last month. Dr Ken­neth Wol­nak, 63, is based at Mer­cy­health Med­i­cal in Janesville, Wis­con­sin.

Wol­nak ap­pared in the Nel­son District Court this morn­ing where he pleaded guilty to two charges of care­less use of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing death and four charges of care­less use caus­ing in­jury.

Wol­nak was on hol­i­day in New Zealand with his wife, hav­ing ar­rived in Christchurch in midFe­bru­ary where he hired a Toy­ota SUV.

On Fe­bru­ary 27, the cou­ple were plan­ning on trav­el­ling to Kai­teri­teri and Abel Tas­man Na­tional Park. How­ever, when Wol­nak left their Red­wood Val­ley ac­com­mo­da­tion he went the wrong di­rec­tion on State High­way 60 to­wards Nel­son.

About 300 me­tres from the Maisey Rd in­ter­sec­tion with the Coastal High­way, he at­tempted to do a u-turn but pulled into the path of a Isuzu flat-deck truck car­ry­ing about 6.5 tonnes of scaf­fold­ing.

The driver of the truck at­tempted to swerve but crashed into the pas­sen­ger side of Wol­nak’s ve­hi­cle. The force of the crash caused the truck to cross the cen­tre­line into the path of south­bound traf­fic.

The truck then crashed into a Toy­ota Prado that was tow­ing a car­a­van. The driver of the truck and the driver of the Toy­ota Prado died at the scene.

Wol­nak will ap­pear sen­tenc­ing on April 24. for

Dr Ken­neth Wol­nak

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