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Old 01-17-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Ramage gets 4 years.

Sad situation all around.

NEWMARKET, Ont. -- Former NHL player Rob Ramage was sentenced to four years in jail Thursday for the fatal crash that killed former Chicago Blackhawks player Keith Magnuson.

Keith Magnuson died on Dec. 15, 2003, when a rental car driven by Ramage slammed head-on into another vehicle just north of Toronto.

Before sentencing, Ramage told the court Magnuson "was a dear friend and mentor."

He added, "I can only imaging what a loving husband and father he was (and) by the grace of God, I stand here today."

The judge noted that while Ramage was an "exemplary citizen," he could not ignore the fact the sentence had to send a message of general deterrence to the public.

The judge also called the accident tragic and senseless.

After serving his sentence, Ramage will be banned from driving for five years.

His wife was in court and broke down in tears after the sentence was handed down.

Last October, a Newmarket, Ont., jury found Ramage guilty on all five charges he faced, including impaired driving causing death, in connection with the crash.

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 defence 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 with eight teams, winning Stanley Cup finals with the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens.

Ramage's family had hoped he would serve no jail time but go out into the community talking about the dangers of drinking and driving.

He had been out on bail and has served no time yet.
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