Highlands & Islands

Man admits causing motorcyclist's death on A9 at Alness

A 47-year-old man had admitted causing the death of a motorcyclist and seriously injuring his wife by careless driving on the A9 last year.

William Couston pulled out of a junction and into the path of the oncoming motorcycle, causing the death of 55-year-old Orkney man Nigel Mills.

The incident happened at the junction to the Alness Business Park in the Highlands on 6 March last year.

Sentence was deferred for background reports and bail was continued.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard Mr Mills and his wife were on their way from their Orkney home to the Scottish Motorcycle Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh.

However, bad weather in the north persuaded them to take an earlier crossing between St Margaret's Hope and Gills Bay.

Fiscal depute Roderick Urquhart told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that Couston was heading for Invergordon to attend the gym when he pulled out of the junction.

The prosecutor said: "Both Mr and Mrs Mills were thrown off their bike and on to the carriageway. The first witness on the scene said Couston's car was in the middle of the road, its right indicator still flashing and steam was coming from it.

"Ambulance and police were called and Couston identified himself to officers as being the driver. There appeared to be no signs of life in Mr Mills.

"Mrs Mills suffered a right leg fracture, a compound fracture to the left, a crushed pelvis, a fractured vertebra and a perforated bladder. She is still using crutches and a wheelchair and was in hospital in Aberdeen for three months after the accident."