Trucker convicted in U.K. crash that killed Calgary philanthropist Ron Carey

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A truck driver who smashed into the back of Ron Carey’s vintage car during the London-to-Brighton rally two years ago, killing the Calgary philanthropist, has been found guilty of causing his death, British media reported Wednesday.

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The Daily Mail reported Michael Black “sobbed uncontrollably” as the verdicts were read in court. Carey was killed when the truck driven by Black crashed into his 1903 Knox on the M23 motorway about 50 kilometres south of London. Carey’s wife, Billi, who was seated beside him, was seriously injured in the crash.

Court heard Black, 52, had been trying to call a friend by tapping his cellphone moments before the crash.

He was cleared on the original charge of dangerous driving causing death and convicted of careless driving causing death, according to media reports. Black was also cleared on the charge of dangerous driving causing serious injury. Carey, 80, had been a vintage car enthusiast since the 1980s.

The founder of oilfield supply company J&L Supply donated his massive antique car, truck and gas pump collection to Heritage Park, leading to the construction of the Gasoline Alley exhibit. He also contributed financially to local organizations including the Alberta Children’s Hospital and STARS air ambulance.

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Court heard Carey had taken a wrong turn during the rally and inadvertently ended up on the bustling motorway in front of Black. His 110-year-old car was travelling at about 32 km/h at the time of the crash.

The truck was driving at more than 80 km/h. “If Black had been keeping a good lookout this accident would not have occurred,” the prosecutor told jurors last week. A collision investigator told the jury that Carey’s car would have been in Black’s view for up to 14 seconds based on video footage and speed calculations.

“I hope that the guilty verdict delivered today sends a clear message to other drivers, that losing concentration, even for a few seconds, can have devastating consequences,” Det.-Const. Kelly Newton told the Daily Mail following Wednesday’s verdict. Black is scheduled to be sentenced Dec.