185464
201666
Kelowna  

Kelowna woman pleads guilty in 2020 crash that killed motorcyclist

'Grief for rest of our lives'

UPDATE: 10 a.m.

The wife of a man who was killed in a 2020 crash on Highway 33 says she's relieved the woman responsible has pleaded guilty, but says the plea won't bring her peace.

Steve Dahnert, 60, was killed in a crash on Oct. 12, 2020 on Highway 33 near Goudie Road, when an oncoming white Chevrolet Tracker crossed the centre line and struck his motorcycle.

On Monday, 20-year-old Carlie Dudych pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, two days before her trial was scheduled to begin. Her sentencing date is now set for Nov. 14.

“We hope and pray we are actually going to be able to close that door, over two years later,” said Dahnert's wife Tracy Dahnert.

“Whatever the sentence, it will be never enough, there is no judgement that can bring us peace and we will live with our grief and heartbreaking memories for the rest of our lives, as is our sentence.”

Dudych's charge falls under B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act, not the Canadian Criminal Code. The standard penalty for a conviction is a $368 ticket, but that can rise to up to $2,000 and imprisonment of up to six months in the most egregious of cases.

Dudych originally planned to plead guilty back in June, but opted to set a trial date instead at the last minute. Then, two days before the trial was set to start, she pleaded guilty.

Tracy said the last several days have been a “roller coaster of more emotions and stress.”

“As the trial approached, the painful memories of that worst day of lives were again being re-lived in our minds and it was hard to think of anything else. It makes it difficult to carry on with daily living at times. Hearing the trial was cancelled quite literally floored me, to think that we would be going through yet another delay,” she said.

“It was with profound relief to hear that Dudych did actually plead guilty on Monday. I don’t understand why we had to go through these painful delays only to have her put in a guilty plea after all.”


ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

A Kelowna woman has pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in an October 2020 crash that killed a motorcyclist on Highway 33.

Steve Dahnert, a long-time electrical trades instructor at Penticton's Okanagan College, was riding his motorcycle eastbound on Highway 33 near Goudie Road around noon on Oct. 12, 2020, when an oncoming white Chevrolet Tracker crossed the centre line and hit him.

Dahnert, 60, was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.

Ten months after the fatal crash, Carlie Dudych, now 20 years old, was charged with driving a vehicle without due care and attention. The charge falls under B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act, not the Canadian Criminal Code.

At the time of the crash, police said the driver of the Tracker remained on scene and fully co-operated with investigators. Police said impairment was not a factor in the crash.

On Monday, Dudych pleaded guilty to the single charge and a sentencing date has now been scheduled for Nov. 14.

The standard penalty for a conviction of careless driving under the MVA is a $368 ticket, but that can rise to up to $2,000 and imprisonment of up to six months in the most egregious of cases.

Dudych was initially scheduled to plead guilty back in June of this year, but instead opted for a trial at the last minute.

Dahnert's wife, Tracy Dahnert, said back in June that the change left her and her family “devastated.

Dudych was then scheduled to face a two-day trial this week, but instead opted to plead guilty on Monday instead.

Steve Danhert was a father, grandfather, friend and husband, and he was remembered as “an excellent guy” and an enthusiastic instructor at Okanagan College's Penticton campus. The College created the Steve Dahnert Memorial Electrical Apprenticeship Award following his death.



More Kelowna News