Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mother killed teacher and left kids hurt in Fife crash

A mother has admitted a "momentary lapse" caused a fatal smash in which she lost control of her people carrier and ploughed into a car in Fife.

Jacqueline Davidson, 48, who was driving home from a children's go-kart party, was "tortured" by what had happened, Cupar Sheriff Court heard.

She crashed head on with Lorna Grant's Renault Clio on the A92 near Cupar on 29 August 2010.

Miss Grant, a teacher in Dundee, never regained consciousness.

She had to be cut from the wreckage by firefighters in a operation that took more than an hour.

Miss Grant, 34, who worked at Fintry Primary School, died after being airlifted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Five children who were in the Volvo were injured, as was Davidson herself.

Two of the youngsters, all of whom were nine when the incident happened, were slightly injured.

Another two were severely injured, and the fifth suffered permanent impairment.

Davidson, from Broughty Ferry, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Ann Orr, prosecuting, said the accident happened just after 12:30 on a section of a two-way undivided carriageway which was subject to the national 60mph limit.

She said Davidson and her husband Brian, a Dundee optometrist, had been taking nine children home from a go-karting centre in Kirkcaldy in separate cars.

The depute fiscal said Davidson's car was "seen to drift". Miss Grant was coming the other way, and Davidson was "so far over the centre line" that an "almost head-on" collision took place.

Miss Orr said: "Brian Davidson looked in his rear view mirror to see his wife's vehicle on its roof."

Miss Grant's Clio went backwards down a six foot embankment.

Police investigations revealed that Davidson had been travelling at 45mph.

Investigators concluded Davidson was to blame, but they were unable to say why she crossed the white line.

Anti-depressants

Ian Duguid, QC, defending, said Davidson had been "tortured" by what had been "a terrible accident", and he extended her sympathy to the family and friends of Miss Grant.

He said the case had taken a long time to come to court because of extensive tests to establish whether there had been any medical reason for the fatal manoeuvre.

He said there were two possible explanations, one of which was that doctors had found "spikes" in Davidson's brainwaves, suggesting she might have suffered an epileptic episode.

The second was that she was taking prescribed anti-depressants and over-the-counter painkillers for a migraine, which might have combined to cause a blackout.

Mr Duguid said: "She expresses extreme regret."

Sheriff Charlie Macnair deferred sentence until 17 May for background reports.

He also banned her from driving temporarily until the sentencing hearing, at which a definite period of disqualification will be set.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites