Case Study

Motorcyclist lost leg after careless driving incident

Incident date: 
Tue, 23 Oct 2012

An Alness motorcyclist had a leg amputated after a collision when a car driver pulled out in front of him as he overtook on the A835 near Aultguish in October 2012.

Inverness project manager Paul Nichol (59) from Braeside Park, Balloch admitted a reduced charge of careless driving when he appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court.

He was fined £650 and his licence was endorsed with six penalty points.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson heard how Nichol was driving from Ullapool to Inverness about 3.35pm when the accident happened on October 23 last year.

Nichol pleaded guilty to driving carelessly by pulling out and colliding with the motorcycle, causing it to collide with the stationary van and resulting in life-threatening injuries to the rider.

Depute fiscal Saima Rasheed described how Nichol was in a queue of traffic and pulled out to overtake as he came to the end of a sweeping left hand bend in the road.

The motor cyclist, a 32-year-old fireman, was in the process of overtaking Nichol’s Saab motor car which also pulled out to overtake.

Nichol’s car collided with the motorcyclist who then struck a van parked on a grass verge on the opposite side of the road.

Mrs Rasheed said the motor cyclist was a young man and he sustained life-threatening injuries.

She said: “One of his legs was amputated and he sustained head injuries. Fortunately the injuries were not fatal.” But the fiscal said he was still in hospital nearly five months after the accident.

Sheriff Neilson told Nichol he had clearly shown a lack of care for a brief moment and it had very serious consequences which no doubt will be dealt with in the civil courts.

She heard Nichol already had three points on his licence and endorsed it with a further six points and fined him £650.

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