Driver jailed for killing friend in car collision

Share this article
Have your say

A PORSCHE driver who caused his friend’s death in a high-speed crash on a country road has been jailed for 18 months.

Douglas Calder, 39, was told by a judge that he had been driving “much too fast” – more than 70mph – when he lost control of the car and it struck a drystone dyke, overturned several times and landed in a field.

William Webber, 36, of Tyrie, Aberdeenshire, was a passenger in the vehicle and died. His wife, Emma, had been expecting their first child and she miscarried after the crash.

“The impact on the Webber family has been devastating…[Emma] feels she has lost everything that gave her life meaning. It was planned for William to take over the family farm. His father says the whole point of his lifetime’s work has gone…this close-knit family has been torn apart,” said Lord Stewart at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Calder, an oil worker living in Andorra, had been accused of causing Mr Webber’s death by dangerous driving, by driving his silver Porsche at excessive speed and losing control on an unclassified road near Strichen, Aberdeenshire, on 15 April 2011.

However, a jury convicted him of the lesser offence of causing death by careless driving, which does not so readily attract a custodial sentence.

The road had many bends but the accident occurred at a straight section. It was suspected Calder had “put the foot down” having come out of a bend.

Defence counsel David Moggach said it was a tragic and sad case. He described Mr Webber’s death as a “huge loss” that must be very painful for his family and friends to bear.

“Mr Calder has expressed genuine and deep remorse for his actions. It cannot be said this was a prolonged course of driving where he allowed the standard of his driving to fall. The collision…must have been over in a few seconds.

“It was a few seconds that cost a life and shattered many others,” said Mr Moggach.