A 64-year-old woman claims she sneezed and caused a horror smash on the wrong side of the A9, injuring three people and leaving one man “unable to walk unaided”.
Fiona McQueen lost control of her Renault Laguna on the Perth to Inverness trunk road and smashed into two other vehicles.
A jury at Dundee Sheriff Court rejected her excuse and found her guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving near the Calvine junction on June 25, 2018.
The court heard how Andrew Gray, who was driving his Ford Mondeo, is now no longer able to walk more than 30 metres without the use of two crutches.
Mr Gray is now registered disabled and requires the use of a wheelchair after suffering a fractured femur and a schatzker knee fracture. His wife Jo Gray also suffered cuts, bruises and whiplash.
Their car ended up colliding with Elizabeth Palliser’s Toyota Yaris. She suffered a broken right hand and a broken sternum.
Wish she could ‘turn back the clock’
McQueen, of Kirkgate, Alloa, was found guilty of causing serious injury to Andrew Gray by crossing the centre of the road, driving on the opposing carriageway and colliding with his car, which collided with Ms Palliser’s car. This caused damage to all vehicles as well as injury to Ms Palliser and Mrs Gray.
She returned to the dock for sentencing following the preparation of social work reports.
The court was told how McQueen, a first offender, wished she could “turn the clock back” and now suffers from anxiety and panic attacks.
When passing sentence, Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “It’s clear from the verdict that they did not accept your explanation of sneezing having caused your driving in this case.
“Your dangerous driving consisted of something similar to a short loss of concentration or and the loss of control of your vehicle.
“It caused dreadful injuries which have had consequences for those who sustained them.
“I think I can follow alternatives to a custodial disposal in this case.”
As an alternative to custody, McQueen was ordered to perform 180 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order.
She was also disqualified from driving for 17 months and must re-sit the extended test following the expiration of her ban.