Papamoa man Iain Stewart Crisp smoked cannabis within half an
hour of the Maungatapu bridge fatal crash that killed
24-year-old Tauranga father Gregory Woledge.
Crisp, 45, who yesterday admitted causing the crash, was
heading home about 6pm on August 12 when his vehicle veered
right into the opposing lane and collided head-on with Mr
Woledge's work van.
The van became airborne and rotated through the bridge
railings and plunged into the harbour with Mr Woledge and his
23-year-old work colleague Ashley Donkersley still inside.
Mr Woledge was trapped inside the submerged van and died
despite desperate efforts to rescue him.
Constable Deane O'Connor leaped off the bridge into the
harbour and helped rescue Mr Donkersley who managed to force
open the left passenger door to create a big enough gap to
escape the van.
Mr Donkersley and Mr O'Connor were both treated for
Mr Donkersley's temperature was so critically low that he was
assessed at extreme risk of having a heart attack.
After crashing into Mr Woledge's work van, Crisp's vehicle
spun 180 degrees and ended up facing the vehicle travelling
behind and the other driver could not avoid a head-on
Crisp, employed as a bus driver at the time of the crash, had
to be cut free from his vehicle.
Crisp, 45, who appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday,
pleaded guilty to charges of careless use of a motor vehicle
causing death, careless use of a motor vehicle causing
injury, and causing a false statement to be entered in a
Crisp also admitted charges of possession of cannabis,
possession of cannabis for supply, possession of cannabis
seeds and possession of cannabis utensils.
Judge Louis Bidois remanded Crisp on bail pending sentencing
on April 7, and imposed a condition that he not drive any
The police summary of facts revealed that as well as
consuming cannabis, in the 12 days before the crash Crisp
had, on four occasions, driven in excess of his maximum
He was also getting minimal sleep over that period.
Crisp also falsified his logbook by recording his finishing
time that day as 8.30pm - two-and-a-half hours after the
When police searched his vehicle they found a total of 17.3
grams of cannabis head material, a small stainless steel pipe
and a used modified bourbon can, both used to consume
Also found was a plastic bag containing 54 cannabis seeds.
A blood sample was taken from Crisp at Tauranga Hospital and
subsequently analysed, which revealed that within three hours
prior to the sample being taken at 8.34pm he had consumed the
equivalent of a single cannabis cigarette.
Crisp told police he had no recollection of entering on to
the bridge or the crash.
Total reparation of $32,134.60 is being sought, including
$16,134.60 for the cost of repairs to the bridge, and $11,000
for the damage to the other driver's vehicle.
Judge Bidois told Crisp that the starting point "must be
jail" but he would receive significant credit for his early
Crisp's lawyer Bill Nabney said his client would be seeking
to participate in a restorative justice meeting with the
victims' families if they were willing.
Crisp declined to comment when the Bay of Plenty Times
Weekend visited his home yesterday.
Mr Woledge's father Kevin Woledge said Crisp's guilty pleas
were a "pretty bittersweet situation" for him and other
family members, including his son's partner Chelsea Findsen,
who was still struggling to cope with the tragedy.