A truck driver involved in the death of an animal rights activist at a pork processing plant in Ontario in 2020 pleaded guilty to related charges on Monday.
On March 27, truck driver Andrew Blake pleaded guilty in an Ontario court to a charge of careless driving resulting in death. Blake was ordered to pay a $2000 fine and is to serve a 12 month probation period during which he may only drive to and from work, or as part of his workday.
Blake was involved in the death of prominent animal rights activist Regan Russell, 65. Russell was killed outside of the Fearman’s Pork plant in Burlington, Ontario, in June 2020.
Russell was participating in an animal rights protest that involved giving water to pigs before slaughter with the group Toronto Pig Save. She was struck by a Brussels Transport truck driven by Blake hauling pigs into the plant and died from her injuries.
The protest was held in response to the passage of Bill 156, also known as the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020. The legislation allows the Ontario government to issue “escalating fines of up to $15,000 for a first offense and $25,000 for subsequent offenses” to protesters who interfere with livestock haulers.
According to CTV, the defense lawyer agreed that Blake should have been aware of Russell standing near the path of his semi truck, but there was no evidence to suggest that the pedestrian strike was intentional.