Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Van driver sentenced over fatal crash in Whitburn

Alexander Young Image copyright Vic Rodrick
Image caption Alexander Young admitted careless driving

A van driver who crashed into a car, killing its driver, has been banned from driving for 14 months and sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work.

Alexander Young crashed into Andrew Nisbet's parked car on 25 November 2015 on the B7066 Whitburn link Road, near Polkemment Country Park, West Lothian.

Young, 62, from Airdrie, admitted careless driving last month.

Sheriff Peter Hammond said he was satisfied that there was an alternative to a custodial sentence.

Young was also placed under social work supervision for a year to include mental health counselling and to attend a 12-week road traffic programme.

He said he realised he was wearing the wrong glasses when he saw a "blurry" deer run across his path moments before he collided with the parked car.

Image caption Andrew Nisbet was fatally injured when the van crashed into his stationary vehicle, causing it to hit him

He claimed he took his eyes off the road for just a second to change his reading glasses for his driving glasses.

The momentary distraction was enough to prevent him from seeing the flashing hazard lights of Mr Nisbet's green Renault Espace on the road ahead.

Young's Iveco delivery van crashed into the back of Mr Nisbet's vehicle pushing it over him and pinning him underneath.

By the time emergency services arrived at the scene Mr Nisbet, 58, from Sauchie, Alloa, was dead.

Physically sick

Rebecca Swansey, prosecuting, said the victim had stopped his car at the roadside and was leaning under the bonnet carrying out a repair.

Karen Railton, defending, said her client worked as a delivery driver at the time but had been off ill since the accident.

Ms Railton said: "He broke down and was physically sick at the roadside. He has been in tears every time I have met him and is the same in court today."

She added: "This has been a momentary inattention that has had most devastating consequences for Mr Nisbet and his family and Mr Young wishes to convey his sincere apologies to the family.

"He's gone over and over this incident in his mind every day and the social work report confirms his genuine remorse."

Passing sentence, Sheriff Peter Hammond said: "I take into account that you are genuinely remorseful and I accept the consequences this has had for you personally so I'm satisfied that there is an alternative to a custodial sentence available.

"You should understand if you fail to comply with the order you can be brought back to court for another sentence and the likelihood is you'd receive a custodial sentence."

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