A driver who smashed into a tractor while a child was in the back seat of his car has been spared a prison sentence.
Shaun Heffren, 34, overtook another car in his Renault Clio before smashing into the tractor’s front wheel on the A92, Parbroath Farm, Cupar – a notorious accident blackspot – in May last year.
The 11-year-old child was taken to Ninewells Hospital but did not suffer any injuries, Dundee Sheriff Court was told previously.
Prosecutor Larissa Milligan revealed how, just after 2.15pm, the driver of the tractor indicated to turn right towards the farm.
A black Audi driver was behind the tractor and suddenly became aware of Heffren’s car in the rear view mirror.
Miss Milligan said: “The witness looked in their offside mirror and saw the accused’s vehicle approaching and overtaking.
“It then collided with the wheel of the tractor, causing the accused’s car to spin before it came to a stop on a grass verge.
“The driver of the tractor manoeuvred the vehicle off the road and went to the accused’s vehicle.”
Pulled child from car
The airbags in Heffren’s car had deployed and the front windscreen was smashed.
Heffren escaped from the car and pulled the child from the back seat.
Ambulance staff gave him a plaster for the knuckles of his right hand.
Heffren, of Hill Street, Ladybank, pled guilty to driving dangerously by failing to comply with the solid line marking, travelling on the opposite side of the road, trying to overtake vehicles when unsafe, colliding with a tractor, losing control of his vehicle and coming to a stationary position on a grass verge.
Damage was caused to the tractor while Heffren’s car suffered “extensive damage”.
Heffren returned to the dock following the preparation of social work reports.
Anika Jethwa, defending, said her client was “deeply sorry” and “ashamed” of his driving on the day in question.
Sheriff Gregor Murray told him: “As you appreciate, this was a dangerous driving offence aggravated in particular by two factors.
“The presence of others in your car and the locus which is a well-known accident hotspot.
“However, you are a first offender, you have a work ethic, you have a clean licence and you have shown remorse.”
As a direct alternative to custody, Heffren was ordered to perform 180 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 18 months.