Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh solicitor's trial over car crash deaths begins

Ursula Hayajneh Image copyright PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX
Image caption Ursula Hayajneh told the court of the split second decision she had to make before the car crash, which killed her husband

An Edinburgh solicitor has gone on trial accused of causing the deaths of his wife, seven-year-old daughter and a doctor in a car crash.

Andrew Houston, 48, denies driving carelessly on the A9 between Newtonmore and Kingussie on 9 July 2013.

His wife Abigail, daughter Mia and GP Dr Mohammed Ali Hayajneh died in the crash near Ralia.

Mr Houston's 10-year-old daughter and her sister were seriously injured.

Mr Houston, who lived in Trinity with his family, went on trial at Inverness Sheriff Court on Monday.

Ursula Hayajneh, a German tourist, told the court of the split second decision she had to make before the car crash, which killed her husband.

Propelled into air

Ursula Hayajneh, 59, a housewife from Duisburg, said she had the choice of hitting a small Peugeot car in front of her or try and avoid the oncoming Audi.

Both cars hit head on and were propelled into the air.

"Maybe if I had gone left and hit the small car, my husband would be alive today." Mrs Hayajneh said.

Mr Houston denies driving carelessly by crossing on to the opposite carriageway, into the path of a car driven by a Polish tourist, Zbigniew Suski, who had to take evasive action.

The charge states Mr Houston's car then hit Mrs Hayajneh's vehicle, causing the three deaths.

In agreed evidence between prosecutor Roderick Urquhart and Mr Houston's QC, Frances McMenamin, the jury heard Mr Houston was not on a mobile phone at the time.

Mr Houston is a senior partner at McSporrans defence Solicitors in Edinburgh.

The trial, which is expected to conclude on Thursday, continues.

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