Tayside and Central Scotland

Driver banned over A82 crash which killed 86-year-old woman

A driver caused the death of an 86-year-old woman due to "a moment's distraction", a court has been told.

Andrew Turner lost control of his VW Golf on the A82 near Loch Lomond and crashed into a Mercedes carrying Geraldine Hodge and her family.

Mrs Hodge was killed in the crash on 2 June, 2014, and her son Mark and daughter Theresa were badly hurt.

Turner, 52, admitted causing death by careless driving and was banned from the road for two years.

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Stirling Sheriff Court heard his car had a front tyre so bald that the cord was showing through, although it was not the defect which caused the crash.

Multiple injuries

Plant operator Turner was driving home at about 17:15 on the day of the crash when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road while rounding a bend near Falls of Falloch.

The Golf "impacted heavily" with the Mercedes driven by Mark Hodge, also 52, causing "extensive damage" to the passenger side.

Mrs Hodge, of Bournemouth, died from multiple injuries and Turner himself was airlifted to hospital with a fractured spine.

Theresa Hodge suffered a collapsed lung, a broken leg, vertebrae and pelvis, while Mr Hodge suffered cuts, bruising and a broken thumb.

Turner, of Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and using a car with a defective tyre.

'Horrifying incident'

Defence solicitor Alan Gravelle said his client had been "momentarily" glancing at the speedometer when the crash occurred.

He said Turner still had flashbacks and nightmares.

Mr Gravelle said: "Words cannot express how sorry he is. For everyone involved this was a horrifying, tragic incident."

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson ordered Turner to perform 250 hours of unpaid work and fined him £400, as well as disqualifying him from driving for two years.

He said: "Nothing I can do or say today can bring Geraldine Hodge back, nor can it do anything to assuage the very devastating repercussions on her family and the very serious injuries that they have sustained.

"The Crown have accepted that this incident was the product of a momentary distraction."

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