Charges laid over bridge death

By Sandra Conchie

Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash on Maungatapu Bridge. Photo/File
Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash on Maungatapu Bridge. Photo/File

A man has been charged in relation to a fatal head-on crash last year in which a van plunged off Maungatapu Bridge and into a river, killing 24-year-old Tauranga electrician Greg Woledge.

The 45-year-old man, employed as a bus driver at the time of the crash, is expected to make his first court appearance in Tauranga District Court on February 14.

He has been charged with careless driving causing death and injury, falsifying his driver log book, plus possession of cannabis for supply and possession of cannabis seeds and utensils.

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said the police investigation into the fatal crash had been completed.

Gregory Mark Woledge died when the AMP'T Electrical Limited company van he was driving plunged off Maungatapu causeway bridge after the three-car collision just after 6pm on August 12.

He was trapped inside the submerged Toyota van after it crashed through the bridge railing.

Constable Deane O'Connor leaped off the bridge into the harbour to rescue Mr Woledge's passenger and work colleague Ashley Donkersley, 23, who had managed to escape from the van.

Mr Woledge's body, which was still inside the vehicle, was recovered the following day.

Five people were treated at Tauranga Hospital.

Mr Campion said the falsifying a log book offence related to the charged man allegedly entering a finish time that was inconsistent with when his shift actually ended. He said the cannabis dealing charge stemmed from a quantity of cannabis allegedly found inside the man's vehicle.

Mr Woledge's parents confirmed they were informed by police last week that charges were pending, but told the Bay of Plenty Times they did not wish to comment.

They also confirmed Greg Woledge's partner Chelsea Findsen, who was expecting the couple's second child at the time of the crash, had since had the baby.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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