A lorry driver has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving after a crash during the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Michael Black, 52, was convicted of causing the death of 80-year-old Canadian millionaire Ronald Carey by a jury today (Wednesday 17 November) at Guildford Crown Court.
Black was using his mobile phone when he drove his Scania lorry into the back of Ron Carey’s 1903 Knox Model C car on the M23.
Mr Carey, from Calgary, Alberta, died at the scene, having taken a wrong turn off the designated route during the annual “old crocks” run on Sunday 3 November 2019.
His wife Billi, who suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown to hospital, followed the trial using a remote video link.
Black, of Peppard Road, in the Maidenbower area of Crawley, is due to be sentenced on Wednesday 8 December.
He had been collecting a load for the “smart motorway” roadworks on the M23 near Merstham, in Surrey, when the crash happened.
Surrey Police said: “He had collected a load from the northbound carriageway of the M23 and was on his way to dispose of it.
“Shortly after making a u-turn from the northbound carriageway on to the southbound carriageway, his lorry struck the rear of a Knox Model C car, causing both its driver and the passenger to be thrown from the vehicle.
“The driver, Ronald Carey, 80, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The passenger, his wife Billi, was airlifted to hospital with suspected life-threatening injuries.
“The couple had travelled from Canada to take part in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
“During the event, Mr Carey had mistakenly taken the slip road for the M23 as opposed to the designated route of the A23.
“Analysis of Black’s mobile phone subsequently showed a phone call was in progress at the time of the collision.”
Detective Constable Kelly Newton said: “Black’s defence was that he simply did not see the car in front of him until it was too late as a result of ‘looming’ and the sun being a distraction.
“Today’s verdict has reinforced that this isn’t in fact accurate and he was distracted by the use of his mobile phone.
“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.”
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