Ramage guilty in drunk-driving crash that killed Magnuson

Updated: October 11, 2007, 12:34 AM ET
Associated Press

NEWMARKET, Ontario -- Former NHL player Rob Ramage was found guilty Wednesday of impaired driving causing death and four other charges in connection with a wreck that killed former Chicago Blackhawks star Keith Magnuson.

Magnuson died Dec. 15, 2003, when a rental car driven by Ramage slammed head-on into another vehicle in Woodbridge. Magnuson was 56.

The 48-year-old Ramage, who lives in St. Louis, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 17. He's facing a jail sentence and his lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said his permanent residency status in the United States would be terminated once he's sentenced.

Ramage must return to Canada on Dec. 18 for sentencing submissions. The most serious conviction, dangerous driving causing death, carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Greenspan said he would go over the case to see if there were grounds to appeal.

The prosecution said scientific evidence showed Ramage had up to four times the legal blood-alcohol limit at the time of the crash, though none of the hundreds of people at an earlier reception could say he had a single drink.

The defense claimed blood and urine tests were flawed and that any smell of beer came from cans that exploded in the accident.

Ramage spent 15 years in the NHL, winning Stanley Cup titles with the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens. He also played for the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers.

"It's a tragedy for all involved, including my family," Ramage said outside court.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press