Driver ‘on drugs’ when he hit ambulance


A DRIVER who seriously injured a paramedic when he crashed head-on into an ambulance was under the influence of amphetamines at the time, a court has been told.

Walter Ten Haaf smashed into the ambulance when he drove his Nissan Navara onto the wrong side of Mundijong Road in Oldbury in October.

The passenger in the ambulance, Wesley Ackerman, was rushed to hospital after the crash with critical injuries.

media_cameraParamedic Wesley Ackerman, pictured with wife Odile. Picture: Megan Powell

During a sentencing hearing in Armadale Magistrate’s Court this morning, police prosecutors said Ten Haaf was incapable of properly controlling his car because he was under the influence of amphetamines.

It was also revealed Ten Haaf had previously been jailed for six-months over an early morning crash that left a woman with a broken pelvis.

Ten Haaf, who was 18 at the time, did not have a license due to a loss of demerit points and was also fined for breaching bail.

Defence lawyer Philip Urquhart told the court he believed that sentence was harsh and could have been appealed.

media_cameraParamedic Wesley Ackerman was critically injured in the crash. Picture: Steve Ferrier

Ten Haaf pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm while under the influence of drugs and dangerous driving causing bodily harm over the Oldbury crash.

His matter was sent to the District Court after concerns were raised about the seriousness of the matter and his earlier conviction.

After an earlier court appearance, Ten Haaf said he was “truly sorry” as he pleaded for Mr Ackerman and his family to forgive him.

media_cameraAccident scene on Mundijong Road, Oldbury between a ute and an ambulance. Picture: Steve Ferrier

He apologised to the family again as he walked into court this morning. “I’d just like to reiterate my apology to the family, deepest apologies,” Ten Haaf said.

“I make no excuse for any of my actions.

“I would just like to say I’m sorry and I place myself before the courts and we will leave it with them.”

The driver of the ambulance, Sharon Price, was also injured in the crash.

Ten Haaf will appear in court again in July.

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