Lorry driver behind bars following death of vintage car driver
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An HGV lorry driver is behind bars after being found guilty of causing death by careless driving after he collided with the back of a car on the M23 during the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2019.
Michael Black, 52, of Crawley, West Sussex, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and banned from driving for 22 months when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (9 February), after being convicted of the death of 80-year-old vintage car driver Ronald Carey. Ronald’s wife Billi, who was in the front passenger seat at the time, also suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash.
The court heard how Black was driving his lorry on the M23 near Merstham just after 10am on Sunday, 3 November 2019 as part of the ongoing smart motorway project works. 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 onto the southbound carriageway, his lorry struck the rear of a Knox Model C car, causing both the driver and the passenger to be thrown from the vehicle.
Mr Carey suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife Billi had to be air-lifted 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.
Temporary Detective Constable Kelly Newton, from Surrey Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, which investigated the collision, said: “This was a tragic set of events which sadly resulted in the loss of Mr Carey’s life and serious injury to Mrs Carey.
“Our thoughts remain with Mr Carey’s family and I hope that the guilty verdict today will help them begin to come to terms with their loss and to start to move on with their lives.
“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. He was also distracted by the use of his mobile phone.
“I hope that the fact that he has received a prison sentence sends a clear message to other drivers – that losing concentration, even for a few seconds, can have devastating consequences.”