1 Aug 2013

Hubbard crash driver convicted

9:58 pm on 1 August 2013

The driver of a vehicle involved in the crash that killed Allan Hubbard has been found guilty of causing the Canterbury financier's death and injuring his wife.

Andy Earl, from Mosgiel near Dunedin, had pleaded not guilty to two careless driving charges relating to a collision between his four-wheel-drive and the car Mr Hubbard and his wife were in north of Oamaru in September 2011.

Judge Garry MacAskill delivered the guilty verdict on Thursday at the Christchurch District Court.

The judge rejected Earl's defence that Jean Hubbard had caused the crash by veering into his lane after becoming distracted while eating an ice-cream.

He said expert evidence that Earl had no memory of events leading up to the crash, but did recall what happened afterwards, suggested that he had most likely fallen asleep just before the crash and veered into the lane occupied by the Hubbards' car.

Judge MacAskill said Earl should have stopped driving when he realised he was feeling drowsy and his carelessness in not doing so caused the crash.

He said he will consider whether reparation should be paid to Mrs Hubbard. A date for Earl's sentencing has yet to be set.

In a statement on Thursday, Jean Hubbard said she bears no ill-will towards Earl or his family arising out of the accident and asked for privacy.

She said she welcomed the conclusion of the case so that the Hubbard and Earl families can now move on with their lives, as her late husband would have wanted.