Tayside and Central Scotland

Road ban for lorry driver who blamed crash on sneezing

Perth Sheriff Court
Image caption Perth Sheriff Court heard John McCormack had no recollection of the incident

A lorry driver who was on the wrong side of the road when he crashed into an oncoming car blamed the incident on a sneezing fit, a court heard.

John McCormack drove for a further 30 miles in the articulated lorry after hitting the vehicle on the A9.

Perth Sheriff Court was told there were three children in the car at the time of the incident.

The 46-year-old was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for two years.

Prosecutor Rebecca Kynaston said motorists heading north near the House of Bruar shopping complex saw McCormack driving straight towards them.

She said: "To their horror they saw the lorry coming south. He was on the wrong side of the road.

"They managed to get off the road onto the verge.

"The lorry missed them, but unfortunately it continued on and a couple with three children in their car weren't so lucky."

Failed to stop

Ms Kynaston said that the lorry hit the offside of the car and scraped along it.

She said: "One might have hoped that would bring this to an end. The impact was forcible and bent the truck onto the wheel.

"Police managed to pull over the lorry further down the A9. This had been going on for quite a few miles."

McCormack, 46, from Kilmarnock, admitted driving dangerously on the wrong side of the road on 11 April last year.

He also admitted failing to stop after an accident, and driving a vehicle which posed a danger due to its condition.

'No recollection'

Defence solicitor David Holmes said McCormack had decided to stop driving in the wake of the incident.

He said: "He has no recollection of the accident or how it could have taken place.

"He remembers sneezing and that's as far as it goes."

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: "He has no recollection of what happened but was aware of a sneezing episode prior to the crash.

"Five vehicles had to take avoiding action.

"To go into the other carriageway of the main trunk road north, it doesn't take much imagination to work out what could have happened."

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