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

Shuswap Litas and Sons of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Police identify South Okanagan homicide victim as 57-year-old Naramata woman

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Most Read