A tourist who crashed into and killed a Dundee bodybuilder while looking for a picnic spot has admitted causing the death via an international videolink.
Social worker Ulf Koischwitz, 50, remained in Germany as he admitted causing the death of Steve Lewis during Tuesday’s video hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court.
The court was told Koischwitz and his family were in Scotland on a touring campervan holiday when he drove into the path of the motorcyclist, 53.
They were looking for a picnic spot to stop for lunch when he pulled the VW Multivan across the road without spotting the oncoming biker.
Depute fiscal John Adams told the court Koischwitz had a clear view of the road and had four seconds when he should have clearly seen Mr Lewis.
The fatal accident happened on the A827 near Aberfeldy in Perthshire on August 2 last year. Keen biker Mr Lewis had taken the day off work to go for a ride in the sunshine.
Mr Adams said: “There was no centre line markings due to recent resurfacing work. The deceased was a regular and experienced motorcyclist and member of a club.
“Shortly before midday the accused and his family were travelling north on the A9. He turned off on to the A827 to find a suitable place to have a picnic lunch.
“He indicated right and commenced a slow turn into an access road, across the path of the motorcycle. The witness was unaware of any reason why the accused failed to observe the motorcycle.
“He was at an angle where he was fully across both lanes of the carriageway. The deceased was unable to avoid a collision with the vehicle which turned directly into his path.
“The deceased continued along the side of the vehicle and there was a second collision with a post and fence on the verge.”
Emergency services – including an ambulance technician who knew Mr Lewis from his bike club – battled to save him but he was declared dead at the scene.
Mr Adams said: “The accused should have seen the deceased, who would have been visible for four seconds.”
Koischwitz, who is head of human resources at the Protestant Foundation in Neinstedt, admitted causing death by careless driving on the A827 on August 2 2019.
In a letter to the court, he apologised to Mr Lewis’s widow Maureen and her children, and to all of the other friends of the popular trade union organiser from Dundee.
“Since the accident it has been very important to me to express my deep sorrow to you all,” Koischwitz said.
“You decide, of course, whether you accept my words. I caused this serious accident and regret the consequences with all my heart.
“I made a mistake while driving. I wasn’t paying enough attention for a moment. Unfortunately your family member and friend had no chance to react to my mistake.
“I’m very sorry about that. I’m sorry to have been in this place at that moment. What I did was a fatal mistake and it was in no way my intention.
“I admit the guilt and I do bear it. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through and I will never be able to understand the loss you suffer.
“Steven John Lewis, and you as his family and friends have been on my mind every day since the accident and will remain so.
“I am very sorry I caused this accident and apologise from the bottom of my heart. I hope the translation conveyed what I wanted to express.”
Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown deferred sentence for reports.