The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)

Trial begins for driver accused of fatal 2018 Highway 33 crash in Kelowna

An officer who pursued the vehicle said he saw the occupants of the car ejected upon impact

The trial for the Kelowna man accused of causing a fatal Highway 33 crash in 2018 started on Monday, Nov. 30.

Travis Ryan Hennessy is facing one count of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm related to the June 20, 2018 incident which allegedly saw him speed down the highway at more than 100 km/h before smashing into a concrete fence.

All four occupants of the vehicle, including Hennessy, were transported to the hospital after the crash. One of the passengers died in hospital from their injuries.

The crash left a stretch of the highway closed for much of the day. Debris was scattered across the road from the impact.

B.C.’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), investigated the incident, as an officer had been following Hennessy at the time of the crash. That officer was cleared of any responsibility for the injuries by the IIO, but he was called to take the stand on the first day of trial.

READ MORE: Recovering after high-velocity car crash in Kelowna

READ MORE: Motorcyclist suffers potentially life-threatening injuries after collision in Kelowna

Const. Conrad Erbes told the court he was doing his regular patrol of the Rutland area late that night, when he saw a vehicle quickly turn onto Highway 33 from Hollywood Road North, possibly striking a median in the process, before continuing westbound at a high rate of speed.

Erbes said the small silver coupe nearly doubled the 60 km/h speed limit on that stretch of the highway and was swerving back and forth into empty oncoming lanes. He said the car began to lose control and it eventually disappeared from his vision.

“At this point, a giant cloud of dust takes over the field of view where I was looking,” he stated.

The vehicle continued for a short distance spinning, Erbes said, ejecting both debris and the occupants of the car.

Erbes then approached the scene as the vehicle came to a stop when he said he saw a “white figure,” possibly somebody wearing a white shirt, step out of the car. The figure was stumbling in a hurried manner, but appeared injured, Erbes said.

“Because there’s a little bit of a dust cloud still, it looks to me as though it could be a ghost,” he said. Hennessy’s defence lawyer Donna Turko asked for clarification and Erbes maintained that it looked like a ghost.

Later, Erbes said he did find a man, one of the occupants of the car, wearing a white shirt.

Erbes called for first responders and back up from a nearby officer. He found four people on the scene, with varying degrees of injury.

All were later transported to the hospital.

Hennessy’s trial is anticipated to continue for the next three weeks.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Courtfatal collision

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

An Armstrong family that lost their home to a fire on Wednesday still hasn’t found their cat as of Friday, June 18, 2021. (Facebook photo)
Family cat still missing, days after fire destroys Armstrong home

There were no injuries from Wednesday’s blaze, but two days later there’s still no sign of the white feline

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The Coldstream cemetery, located at 7600 Howe Drive — Officials are working on a cemetery master plan and accepting public input until (District of Coldstream photo)
Input sought on future of Coldstream cemetery

Until July 2, locals can complete a survey to help guide Coldstream’s cemetery master plan

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read