A student who left a biker in intensive care for six weeks, hospitalised for eight months and with life-changing injuries after ploughing his car head-on into his victim’s motorcycle has been fined.
Angus Oliver’s Volkswagen Polo hit Peter Lindsay’s BMW bike after Oliver crossed the centre line of the rural B941 road between Colinsburgh and Largoward in Fife.
Mr Lindsay and his wife, Diane, were thrown from the bike on to a grass verge while Oliver’s car rolled before catching fire.
Oliver walked away without serious injury but Mr and Mrs Lindsay suffered horrific consequences.
Mr Lindsay, 63, was rushed to the Victoria Infirmary in Kirkcaldy where he was placed in intensive care with fractures to his pelvis, ribs, leg and elbow, as well as a ruptured bladder, before being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for further treatment.
He stayed in the ICU there for six weeks before being transferred to Ninewells in Dundee, then St Andrews Community Hospital. He was finally discharged in April 2017.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard he suffered “life-changing” injuries. He may need a replacement elbow joint and has to use a wheelchair when going more than short distances.
Mrs Lindsay suffered five fractured ribs, a broken arm and an elbow injury but was well enough to be discharged within a week.
A sheriff told Oliver the couple’s injuries were “terrible” but “entirely disproportionate to the level of carelessness that you displayed”.
Oliver, who attended a £36,000-a-year private school in Oxfordshire before starting a course at Edinburgh University, was fined £600 and given six penalty points on his driving licence after lawyers negotiated a plea to one charge of careless driving.
He had originally faced two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, an offence that could carry a prison sentence.
Oliver, 22, of Stokehill Farm, Stoke, Andover, Hampshire, pled guilty on indictment to careless driving on August 16 2016 on the B941 in Fife.
Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC told Dundee Sheriff Court: “His reaction following the collision was to get out of the car and go to the assistance of the injured parties.
“He has no immediate recollection of the exact events of the incident. There is no suggestion it was anything but a momentary lapse that gave rise to
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “I’m required to consider the quality of your driving at the time of the offence.
“You are unaware of what happened and I can’t wander into the realms of speculation to fill in the gaps.
“You crossed the centre line – you are therefore responsible. You have accepted responsibility and expressed remorse and have not driven since.
“The injuries sustained were entirely disproportionate to the level of carelessness that you displayed.”