Driver spared jail after causing fatal crash in which his wife died


A motorist who caused a head-on collision in which his wife lost her life was spared an immediate jail sentence by a judge at Lincoln Crown Court.

Janusz Olewicz, who was working at Butlins in Skegness, is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel as he drove along the A16 at Driby Top near Alford.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Olewicz’s car drifted across the road and straight into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

His wife Katarzyna Olewicz, 28, was killed and Olewicz himself was so badly injured that he was not expected to survive.

The collision occurred as the couple travelled home after visiting the DWP offices in Scunthorpe where Mrs Olewicz had an appointment in connection with obtaining a National Insurance number which would allow her to work in the UK.

Mr Howes said: “The Crown say that he fell asleep at the wheel of his Suzuki Alto which strayed into the wrong lane of the carriageway and was responsible for the head-on collision.

“The defendant had been to Scunthorpe with his wife for her to sign paperwork in relation to a National Insurance number. They were on their way back to the Skegness area when this occurred.”

Mr Howes said that another motorist noticed Olewicz’s vehicle swerving from side to side for about 15 minutes in the period immediately before the collision and appeared to be slumped over the wheel. At one point an oncoming driver had to swerve onto the grass verge to avoid a crash.

The head-on smash occurred when Olewicz was travelling at over 50 mph and went onto the wrong side of the road leaving the helpless oncoming driver with no way of avoiding a collision.

Katarzyna Olewicz suffered fatal injuries while the driver of the other car was seriously injured

Olewicz himself suffered more than a dozen broken bones and was in a coma for a month. He has since undergone five operations and is still unable to work. The couple’s three-year-old son escaped without serious injury.

Mr Howes said that the mother of Katarzyna Olewicz had been left devastated by what happened and blamed the defendant.

Janusz Olewicz, 30, who at the time was living in Prince Alfred Avenue, Skegness, but has since returned to his native Poland, admitted causing death by dangerous driving on 23 August 2012.

He was given an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years and banned from driving for three years.

Judge Michael Heath described the case as unusual and said that Olewicz had only avoided an immediate jail sentence because of the substantial personal mitigation available to him.

Camille Morland, defending, said: “He is still in pain. He appears at court on crutches and is still fairly disabled.”

She said Olewicz, who has no memory of the collision, now looks after his son back in Poland.