A BMW driver who came off a motorway onto a major roundabout without stopping and collided with a cyclist, breaking his back, is facing jail.
Stuart Smillie, 43, will be sentenced in January after the judge before whom he appeared this week disclosed he had been knocked off his own bike in similar circumstances so he would not be dealing with the case any further.
Sheriff Simon Collins KC told Smillie it was “probably just as well” his punishment would be decided by another arbiter.
A court heard the accident happened at about 8.45 on June 17, a Saturday morning, at Keir Roundabout – where the M9 becomes the A9.
After entering the roundabout from the Bridge of Allan road, Mr Hutchinson was signalling to leave at the Doune exit when he was struck by Smillie’s BMW 116i Sport.
The car had entered the roundabout from the fast lane of the M9 “without stopping”, prosecutor Steven Lynch said.
Despite Mr Hutchinson “immediately taking evasive action”, Smillie’s car, still doing 15 to 20 miles an hour, went straight into his side.
Mr Hutchinson, a father-of-three, was thrown onto the bonnet, then off again onto the road when Smillie braked.
Prosecutor Steven Lynch said: “He sustained a stable fracture to his spine and heavy cuts and bruises to his arms and legs.”
Mr Hutchinson was taken by ambulance to hospital and avoided being paralysed because the break did not affect his spinal cord..
Sheriff recused himself
At Stirling Sheriff Court, Smillie, of Norwood Avenue, Bonnybridge, pled guilty to causing serious injury by careless driving.
Ross McGowan, defending, said an insurance claim is ongoing.
Sentence was deferred until January 10 for a background report and an assessment of Smillie’s suitability for a curfew order as a possible alternative to prison.
Sheriff Collins said up-to-date information about Mr Hutchinson’s present condition would also be required.
He revealed: “I’m a driver but I’m also a cyclist and I’ve been hit and knocked off my bike in slightly similar circumstances to this.
“I disclose that.
“I’m not going to be dealing with [sentencing].
“It’ll come back before one of the resident sheriffs other than myself, which is probably just as well.”
He added: “It’s obviously a serious matter.”
Mr Hutchinson, of Bannockburn, a press officer for government tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “I was told in the hospital it was a stable fracture, which means it wasn’t interfering with the spinal cord, so I didn’t lose any motor functions.
“I’ve still got issues in my back.”
The road bike he was riding, which he borrowed from a friend, was written off.