NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Farmer jailed after man dies in Moray tractor crash

Alister Clark [Pic: Lesley Donald Photography]
Image caption Farmer Alister Clark admitted causing death by dangerous driving

A farmer who caused the death of a motorist after his faulty tractor trailer detached and hit another vehicle in Moray has been jailed.

Alister Clark, 58, admitted causing death by dangerous driving after tree surgeon Stuart Reid, 34, died on the A95 near Ballindalloch Post Office.

The accident happened in October 2008 as Mr Reid headed for a golf outing.

First offender Clark, of Ballindalloch, was jailed for two years at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Delivering sentence, Lord Docherty said it was a "truly tragic case" which should alert farmers to the dangers of defective agricultural vehicles.

The judge added: "Anything other than a custodial sentence would not be sufficient to recognise the seriousness of the offence."

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.

As Clark negotiated the bend, the trailer he was towing separated.

It slid across the carriageway and collided with Mr Reid's vehicle.

Mr Reid did not have time to take evasive action, but appeared to have leaned away in an effort to avoid being struck.

An examination of Clark's equipment found it to be in "very poor condition" with numerous defects.

Left devastated

The court heard the death of Mr Reid had left his parents and long-term partner devastated by his loss at such a young age.

The accident was also said to have deeply affected Clark.

He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to resit a test before he resumes.

An NFU Scotland spokesman said: "When taking to the road to haul goods, there is an undoubted requirement on farmers and their staff to do so in as safe and responsible a manner as is possible.

"Any accident of this kind is an accident too many and is ultimately avoidable.

"Farmers must remind themselves of the many rules and regulations surrounding haulage as well as the health and safety implications for them, their staff and other road users."

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