Tayside and Central Scotland

Man jailed for road crash that killed mother-of-three

Audrey Thom Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Audrey Thom died in hospital two days after the crash

A Dundee van driver who caused the death of a woman after overtaking when approaching a blind crest in the road has been jailed for four years.

Andrew Reilly, 29, made no attempt to avert the head-on collision with a car in which Audrey Thom was a passenger.

Mrs Thom's daughter Louise could not avoid Reilly's van, heading directly at her on her side of the road.

Reilly was also banned from driving for eight years and ordered to resit a driving test.

He previously admitting a charge of causing death of the mother-of-three by dangerous driving.

The court heard that the plumbing and heating engineer had previous convictions for driving without insurance and speeding.

The crash occurred on the A914 Balmullo to Dairsie roundabout road in Fife in November 2015.

'Dreadful consequences'

Emergency services took Miss Thom, 27, and her 58-year-old mother to hospital but Mrs Thom's condition worsened and she died two days later.

Police investigators concluded that Reilly had made a decision to carry out a late overtaking manoeuvre as he approached solid white lines on the road.

He then drove on to the opposite side of the road.

Defence counsel Matt Jackson told the High Court in Edinburgh that Reilly had been working in Fife and was making his way home to Dundee when the crash happened.

He said the father-of-two was "very, very sorry for what he has done."

Mr Jackson said: "He understands that the consequences of his criminality, because that is what it is, have had a terrible effect upon so many others.

"In particular I am instructed by him to offer his direct apologies to the Thom family."

Judge Michael O'Grady QC told Reilly that the court had "emphasised time and time again" that driving in the manner that he did was "so obviously dangerous and foolhardy and irresponsible".

He said: "It has time and again warned young men of the consequences for others and indeed them, and yet I sometimes despair that that message will ever be heeded.

"There is no escaping the gravity of what you have done and the dreadful consequences which flow from it.

"When all is said and done, a woman has lost her life, has been taken from her family and there is no diminishing the emptiness and grief of that."

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