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)

Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

Travis Ryan Hennessy was in the drivers’ seat when a car crashed into a concrete wall on Highway 33 in Kelowna, killing one person and injuring two others, a judge has determined.

Hennessy, a Prince George man, maintained throughout his trial that he was not driving on June 20, 2018, when the car he was in crashed, but on Monday (Jan. 25), a B.C. Provincial Court judge ruled that he was. He was convicted of two counts of dangerous driving causing injury and one count of dangerous driving causing death.

According to testimony throughout the trial, which took place over a number of days in December 2020, Hennessy was driving erratically in the Rutland area around 3 a.m., earning the attention of a nearby police officer. That officer, Const. Conrad Erbes told the court in December 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– estimated to be more than 100 km/h.

Pursuing the car, Erbes said it soon began to lose control and after briefly disappearing from his vision, crashing into a concrete fence sending debris and the occupants of the vehicle flying across the road, causing a cloud of dust. All four occupants of the car were transported to hospital and one, Lenard Haines died the next day in hospital.

Several officers attended the scene and the road was closed for a number of hours that day.

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

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

The judge said in weighing the evidence brought forward by Hennessy and that of other people to take the stand, she simply couldn’t believe his story. She cited Hennessy’s clear memory of events before and following the incident, but his apparent inability to recall events specific to the crash as an example of the incredibility of his testimony. Hennessy said that inconsistency was caused by a traumatic brain injury that he received in the crash and his frequent drug use.

Hennessy’s claims differed from those of one of his passengers, who the judge did deem a credible witness. That witness was adamant that Hennessy was driving at the time of the accident.

Forensic evidence also placed Hennessy in the drivers’ seat, as opposed to the back seat where he claimed to be; his blood was found on the drivers’ airbag.

“I have no doubt that Travis Hennesy was the driver … that he drove that vehicle dangerously and that as a result that Lenard Haines died and both Karla Mindel and Shane Haines suffered bodily harm,” said the judge in her decision.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that’s supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has received a grant for the completion of housing reports for Electoral Areas B, D, and F. (Gerry Leibel photo)
Grant allows Columbia Shuswap Regional District to finish housing reports

Study toidentify issues such as affordability and accessibility specific to Areas B, D and F

The Riverside Forest Walk walk begins at the BC Interior Forestry Museum on Highway 23. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke trail network to expand with the help of CBT funding

Four Revelstoke projects received a total of almost $80,000

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

(File photo)
UBCO introduces another reading break in November

The break only affects the Okanagan campus

Most Read