Driver and passenger feared for their life after flying through air in dramatic crash

A driver and their passenger thought they were going to die after a crash sent them flying through the air, a court heard.

Arthur Taylor, 76, admitted to careless driving when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today (Wednesday).

It happened on the Tingwall Straight at around 5.15pm on 5th December.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Taylor had been travelling behind a slower-moving vehicle, which he “simply failed to observe” before crashing into it from behind.

“It resulted in a fairly dramatic sequence of events in the car he struck,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“The car left the carriageway and was effectively flying through the air.

“It rolled over a number of times before coming to a rest in a ditch on its roof.

“Both occupants of the vehicle thought they were going to die at that point.”

Despite their fears, both occupants managed to get out of the vehicle through a smashed rear windscreen.

Mr MacKenzie said it was a matter of “good fortune” that neither suffered more serious injuries.

One had sore ribs and soft tissue damage, requiring painkillers, while the other had a cut on their head requiring eight stitches.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client – an army veteran and former SIC emergency planning official – had been distracted by the bright lights of an oncoming vehicle.

“By the time that vehicle had passed he saw he was too close to the other one,” Mr Allan said.

The solicitor said Taylor, of Hillside in Voe, had never been in a crash in all his 50-plus years of driving.

He said his client did “everything right after the accident”.

“He co-operated fully with the police, stayed at the scene and tried to help,” he added.

“This is something which has been quite a big event for him.”

Mr Allan said the accident had not come from a background of bad driving.

“It was simply down to a moment of inattention,” he added.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said that based on the degree of carelessness involved he could deal with the matter by way of a financial penalty.

He fined Taylor £500 plus a £20 victim surcharge and endorsed his licence with four penalty points. 


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