NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Farmer admits Moray tractor death crash fault

Alister Clark [Pic: Lesley Donald Photography]
Image caption Sentence was deferred for reports on Alister Clark

A farmer caused the death of a motorist by dangerous driving after his faulty tractor trailer detached and hit another vehicle on a Moray road, a court has heard.

Alister Clark, 57, admitted the offence after 34-year-old tree surgeon Stuart Reid died on the A95 near Ballindalloch Post Office in October 2008.

Mr Reid had been heading for a golf outing.

Sentence on Clark was deferred, at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Mr Reid, originally from Forres, and then of Dulnain Bridge, was in a Mitsubishi L200 4x4 pickup truck when it was involved in the crash.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross said: "As the accused negotiated the bend the trailer he was towing separated.

"The trailer carried by its own momentum and not having the benefit of any braking system slid across the carriageway in to the east bound lane and collided with Mr Reid's vehicle.

"The deceased was unable, within the time scale, to take evasive action in terms of his vehicle, but appears to have leaned away in an effort to avoid being struck - without success."

Left devastated

The court heard that an examination of Clark's equipment found it to be in "very poor condition" with numerous defects.

The advocate depute said that the death of Mr Reid had left his parents and long-term partner "devastated by the loss of the deceased at such a young age".

Defence counsel Jamie Gilchrist QC said Clark had asked him to say that "he cannot find the words to adequately express how much he regrets the distress caused".

Sentence on first offender Clark, of Ballindalloch, was deferred for background reports.

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