Careless driver’s momentary lapse almost killed couple on motorbike

A careless driver who collided with a motorcycle in Yell, almost killing its rider and pillion passenger, was fined £500 and had seven points placed on his licence when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court this week.

Darren Saunders, 26, of Sellafirth, turned right on the A968 and crashed into the large “adventure” bike, which was being expertly ridden with its headlights illuminated.

The incident happened on the A968 in the island on 14th July last year.

Wednesday’s court heard the collision amounted to a “life-changing incident” for the couple on the motorbike.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it was fortunate that the two did not die as a result of the accident. They are still receiving treatment after being left with severe injuries.
“The rider was a very experienced rider, who had no opportunity to take evasive action.

“The weather was good, but for some reason he cut right across them, giving the motorcycle absolutely no opportunity to do anything, and there was a significant impact.”

Two local GPs had to attend the scene to provide emergency first aid. The couple were airlifted to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick where they were treated in the high dependency unit.

Mr MacKenzie said their lives had been “in danger”. Once stabilised they were transferred to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Both spent an initial six weeks in hospital.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Saunders had been left “extremely shaken” and filled with anxiety following the incident.

He said the collision had happened after Saunders suffered a “moment’s inattention” as he turned right onto a track.

“That moment of carelessness was very brief, and the consequences extremely unfortunate,” he said.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Saunders: “It may have been a momentary lapse, but there is no reason at all why you ought not to have seen this motorcycle.”



Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.