High speed impact nets Kelowna man prison sentence

A Kelowna man who rammed his car into a tree, killing one passenger and injuring another was handed a 4 1/2 year prison sentence.

Michael Grenke, 36, was convicted of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm in an Albertan courtroom March 2011, and the related sentence was handed down last week.

According to court documents,  (Grenke's) high-performance BMW sports car impacted with a tree slightly north of the intersection of 107th St. and 102nd Ave., Edmonton, Alberta—not far from a bar Grenke had been at, and across the street from the firehall.

"The impact was sufficiently severe that the trunk of the tree penetrated into the vehicle from the front passenger side to nearly the center console of the vehicle," read court documents.

" This impact between car and tree had the tragic effect of killing the front passenger, Mr. Martin Schimmel, and seriously injuring both the rear passenger, Mr. Stephen Capp, and Mr. Grenke."

According to media reports from Friday Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain called Grenke's crimes purposeful, deliberate and reckless. He disregarded the idea that the crash was an accident as "an attempt to sanitize that which cannot be sanitized."

Germain classified the crash as the result of Grenke trying to show off how powerful a car he drove, a decision influenced by alcohol.

Grenke had 26 driving offences on his record, spread over a decade in both Alberta and B.C.. His licence has been suspended for a total of 15 months and twice he lost his licence for 24 hours because of alcohol.


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