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‘He did not learn his lesson’: Motorcyclist who lost leg in A9 Perthshire crash relives horror incident as driver is sentenced

Mark Towler biker has relived the life-changing night where he lost a leg when a speeding driver crashed into his motorbike on the A9.
Mark Towler biker has relived the life-changing night where he lost a leg when a speeding driver crashed into his motorbike on the A9.

A motorcyclist has relived the life-changing night in which he lost a leg in a horrific A9 crash.

Mark Towler, 33, from Aberdeen, was struck while on the dual carriageway near Aberuthven on April 14, 2019.

55 year-old John McCallum – who had twice previously been banned from the road  – was travelling at more than 70mph in his silver Vauxhall Insignia at around 9pm when he hit the biker.

The crash forced Mark to spend months in hospital where his right leg was amputated from the knee down.

Mark said: “All I remember was riding normally on the A9, going towards Perth and I just saw the headlights in my right mirror coming towards me very quickly.

“Before I had any time to react, the vehicle just ploughed into the back of my motorcycle throwing me up into the air and onto the road.

“Immediately after the collision, I was attended to by a lovely couple, Andy and Yvonne, who were first on the scene and had witnessed everything.

“They were fellow motorcyclists and they called the emergency services. Next to arrive was an off-duty paramedic who took over until the ambulance arrived.

“An air ambulance also arrived but I was taken to Ninewells Hospital by road ambulance. I ended up losing my right leg from the knee down, I fractured my right wrist and damaged my left hand.

“I was transferred back up to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and remained in hospital until the end of July ,when I was finally discharged.”

McCallum was sentenced on December 4 at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had previously been convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and had once faced an attempted murder charge.

He was said to have been suffering from a “manic episode” at the time of the crash.

Lord Armstrong imposed a compulsion order for McCallum to be treated at the Murray Hospital in Perth.

Mark feels the eight-year driving ban handed out is not enough, although McCallum’s lawyer says he does not intend to ever get behind the wheel again.

Mark said: “The criminal court process was slow and all the way through McCallum pleaded not guilty.

“I was disappointed with the short driving ban of eight years. He had been banned from driving twice before, the most recent being in 2016 when he was banned for three years.

“Clearly, he did not learn his lesson. I appreciated the help of the two witnesses who gave evidence as they had never seen anything quite like it in their lives.”

The judge told McCallum: “Your actions continue to have a devastating impact.”

Rehabilitation is going smoothly for Mark, who has undergone physiotherapy sessions and travelled to England to be fitted with an advanced prosthetic to help him walk and to enable him to ride his motorcycle again.

He is currently engaged in civil proceedings with Motorcycle Law Scotland and has received interim payments from the driver’s insurance company.

A spokesperson for the legal firm said: “Mark’s civil case has not yet fully concluded, however, the third party insurer has been relatively supportive throughout.

“The witness statements of Andy and Yvonne were crucial.”

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