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Motorist goes on trial accused of causing cycling Fife grandfather’s death

Iain Anderson died in the accident in rural Fife.
Iain Anderson died in the accident in rural Fife.

A bus driver who witnessed a fatal accident thought the truck in front of him had thrown a bag of rubbish on to the roadside, before realising it was a person.

Andrew Harris, 56, who drives coaches for Moffat and Williamson in Fife, reversed his bus into a layby and ran to help cyclist Iain Anderson, who was lying badly injured on the road.

Dramatic footage of his Good Samaritan response, captured on his vehicle’s dashcam, was shown to a jury at the High Court in Livingston on Wednesday.

Tipper truck driver Adam Fernie, 80, is charged with causing the death of 66-year-old cyclist Mr Anderson by dangerous driving and colliding with his Coyote Connect folding electric bike.

Mr Anderson – described as a “loving father-of-five” – was cycling on the B937 Eden Bridge to Lindores near Ladybank, at around midday on Sunday August 25 2019 when he was struck.

Bus driver’s evidence

Mr Harris told the court: “The scene happened right in front of me.

“At first I thought the truck in front of me had thrown a bag of rubbish out of the left hand side.

“Then I realised it was a person so I stopped, reversed the bus and just went to help the person.”

The jury was shown four minutes of video in which a man is seen running to the scene of the accident from a VW Golf parked in a layby, quickly followed by Mr Harris.

Iain Anderson.

The bus driver said: “I found a gentleman in the road.

“His bike was all mangled up from the back end.

““The chap that was already there was on the phone to emergency services.

“The man on the road was in a prone/recovery position.

“He had blood coming out of his head.

“He was still breathing. That’s the first thing I checked.”

Damage to truck described

He said it was obvious Mr Anderson had “very serious” injuries and required urgent medical assistance.

“I just stayed with him. At one point he tried sitting up.

“I said: ‘Stay down. Stay down. Help is on the way. You’ll be OK’.

“I spoke to him but he went out again.

“It was like his body was obviously trying to fight what had happened to him.”

He said he became aware the truck he had seen hitting the cyclist was about 100 yards up the road and was turning around and coming back toward him.

Police at the accident scene.

When it stopped, he saw the passenger side of the vehicle’s windscreen appeared to have been damaged by an impact.

Mr Harris said he saw the driver of the truck walking around but his main concern was keeping the person in front of him breathing.

“I heard him (the driver) say that he didn’t see it because the sun was in his eyes.

“I didn’t pay much attention to the person walking around.”

Although emergency services had still not arrived, he said, an off-duty GP stopped and she took over the patient’s medical care.

He returned to his bus to check on his passengers and continued on his route.

Faulty vehicle claims

The Crown alleges Fernie failed to maintain proper observations and failed to see Mr Anderson cycling on the carriageway ahead.

Fernie is accused of causing his white Nissan Cabstar to collide with Mr Anderson without braking or taking evasive action.

Prosecutors allege Fernie’s vehicle was damaged and Mr Anderson, of Glenrothes, was so severely injured he died at the scene.

Fernie is further charged with failing to stop after the accident, failing to give his name and address to any person with reasonable grounds for asking, failing to identify the owner of the vehicle and failing to provide the identification mark of the vehicle.

The trial is taking place at Livingston High Court.

He is also accused of using the van in a dangerous condition with seized brakes, a loose handbrake cable, a missing wheel nut, a noisy wheel bearing and a worn track rod ball joint.

The faults allegedly identified by the prosecution also include a missing fuel filler cap and a fractured fuel tank strap.

Fernie, of Jamphlars Road, Cardenden, Lochgelly, denies the charges and is being tried by jury before judge Lord Weir.

Father and grandfather

At the time of the crash it was reported a doctor who was on hand and paramedics from an air ambulance fought to save the Glenrothes grandfather but he died from serious head injuries .

In a statement following Mr Anderson’s death, his relatives said: “Our family are devastated to have lost a loving husband and father of five children, as well as an amazing grandad to five grandchildren.

“He will be sorely missed.”

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