A studious former Dollar Academy pupil and promising young footballer has been spared jail despite causing a crash that left another driver with serious injuries.
Liam McDaid, who was 18 at the time of the accident, admitted causing serious injury to Mary McRitchie by driving a car dangerously on the A985 near to Devilla Forest, Kincardine, on August 16, 2018.
After overtaking when it was unsafe to do so, McDaid smashed into a vehicle driven by Mrs McRitchie travelling in the opposite direction, causing it to leave the road and career into a tree, leaving her with multiple broken bones.
Sheriff Alastair Brown had previously warned McDaid, now 20, there was a significant possibility of imprisonment when he last appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court but the sheriff heard how remorseful the first year Napier University student had been during a hearing on Tuesday.
McDaid, formerly on the books of Raith Rovers and Stirling Albion, had taken it upon himself to write a letter to Mrs McRitchie expressing his regret.
Sheriff Brown told him: “You overtook and that was obviously a very dangerous thing to do.
“It showed utter disregard for the safety of other people using the road, and that sums up your culpability in this matter.
“It is enough to say that the harm done to Mrs McRitchie has been substantial, and she will probably suffer the consequences for some considerable time to come.”
The court heard how McDaid, of Tarmachan Close, Dunfermline, was driving a Ford Fiesta and had been in a queue of traffic when he pulled out to overtake.
Vehicles travelling both east and west had to pull into the side of the road to avoid a collision before he struck the Honda Jazz being driven by Mrs McRitchie.
The fire service had to use cutting equipment to get her out of her car and she was rushed to Forth Valley Hospital where she was found to have suffered a fractured breastbone, fractured rib, fractured heel, nerve damage to her arm and extensive bruising.
Defence solicitor Dana Forbes described her client as a 20-year-old man of “impeccable character” who had excelled at school and now as a student, and had written a “heartfelt” letter directly to Mrs McRitchie to say sorry.
She also revealed his mental health had suffered as a result of “carrying huge burdens” over what he had done.
She said: “He is obviously absolutely culpable for the incident but he is repeatedly punishing himself by ruminating about what he did and the harm he caused to others and he cannot get that out of his mind.
“It is haunting him on a daily basis.”
However, Sheriff Brown told him the punishment he imposed should “draw a line” under the episode, adding: “You will have paid the penalty for the culpability and harm and it is in nobody’s interest you should beat yourself up about what has happened.”
Sheriff Brown imposed a restriction of liberty order on McDaid keeping him at home between 7pm and 7am for six months, and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.