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