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Teen driver fined $2,000 for crash that killed well-loved Penticton college instructor

Carlie Dudych was 19 when her car crossed the centre into the path of Steve Dahnert’s motorcycle

Carlie Dawn Dudych was 19 at the time when she drove her Chevy Tracker across the centre line along Highway 33 and into the path of Penticton resident Steve Dahnert’s motorcycle on Thanksgiving Day, 2020.

The crash killed Dahnert, a well-loved Okanagan College instructor.

Dudych originally was going to take her case to trial on charges of driving without due care and attention but later pleaded guilty to the charge which falls under the Motor Vehicle Act.

On Nov. 14, in Kelowna Provincial Court, Dudych was sentenced and fined $2,000 under the MVA. The court did not impose any driving bans or restrictions. The court didn’t detail why Dudych’s vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic.

A family man and instructor at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus, Dahnert’s death had a huge impact both with his close-knit family and his work family.

Flags at the Penticton campus were lowered after they heard of their colleague’s passing. Dahnert was a long-time OC Trades and Apprenticeship instructor who began teaching in the Electrical Trades department in July 2006.

He shared his knowledge and passion for the trade with countless students over the past 14 years, said OC.

“We were deeply saddened to hear the news about Steve’s sudden passing. He had so many great skills, brought amazing energy to the campus and passionate about sharing his knowledge with everyone. He will be greatly missed on the Penticton campus,” said Regional Dean Eric Corneau at the time.

The college set up a ‘Steve Dahnert Memorial Electrical Apprenticeship Award.’ Donations towards the award can be made to the Okanagan College Foundation.

His daughter Siobhan Wyman held a memorial blood donor clinic at the Penticton Seniors Drop-in Centre last October to honour her dad.

Wyman made the goal of five blood donations this year in honour of her father.

“It makes me feel close to my dad, it makes me think he’d be proud of me,” said Wyman. “He was so passionate about it, and it’s such a little thing that I can do to carry on his passion, and it’s so needed.”

After the crash, Dahnert was rushed to the hospital and received blood equal to his body’s entire blood volume many times over in an effort to save his life. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries later that day. Seeing her father on both sides of the donations, highlighted how much of an impact donating blood can make.

READ MORE: Keremeos woman tries for 5 blood donations to honour her dad killed in crash

“He was a great person and he loved life and loved people, he deserved so much more,” said Wyman.

Obituary: Memorial blood donor clinic set up in honour of Stephen Dahnert

READ MORE: OK College electrical instructor talks with Minister of Advanced Education

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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