A driver who fishtailed around a corner before mounting a pavement and slamming into a group of tourists in St Andrews has been spared a jail term.
“Impatient” tree surgeon Edward Kolakovic sped off down the town’s Market Street after being held up by cars parking on either side and a lorry being unloaded.
He then tried to turn right – but lost control of his Volkswagen Golf, with the back end swinging out as he tried to turn on the damp cobbles.
Kolakovic’s car then regained grip as it got on to the tarmac surface of Church Street – causing the car to spear across the road and on to the pavement.
There he ploughed into four Chinese tourists, seriously injuring two of them, before smashing into a shopfront.
A sheriff told the 33-year-old his driving was “that of a boy racer”.
One of the group suffered “complex” fractures to his feet and ankles that required surgery before he could fly home.
Another suffered a cracked bone in his foot and a fractured toe.
Kolakovic initially told police he had thought one of the victims “had a foot on the road” and that he had reacted to that – even though they were on the opposite side of the road from where he was trying to drive.
A court was CCTV footage of the moment of impact showing the streets busy with pedestrians as Kolakovic accelerated quickly away from a blockage in Market Street caused by other traffic.
He is then seen attempting to turn right before losing control, the back end of his car sliding out, in the split second before impact.
Fiscal depute Chris McIntosh told Dundee Sheriff Court that the CCTV proved the crash had nothing to do with the accused trying to take evasive action.
He said: “The incident occurred around 11.45am when the four individuals were walking on Church Street on the west pavement.
“The accused was driving in Market Street and his progress was impeded by a lorry unloading and cars parking.
“He accelerated quickly along Market Street and as he attempted to turn right he lost control, mounting the west pavement and colliding with the four witnesses.
“The accused got out to check on the welfare of the four witnesses and police attended.
“The four injured parties were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by ambulance.”
Kolakovic, 33, of Cupar Mills, Cupar, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, committed on January 12 2018.
Defence solicitor Katrina Clark said: “I’d ask the court to take the view that taking all the factors into account, notwithstanding the serious nature of the charge, that you can discount the matter from a custodial sentence to a direct alternative.
“He does express sincere sorrow for the accident which caused significant injury to these individuals going about their daily business.
“He is sorry for what happened and there is deep regret on his part.
“He knows it is a very serious matter and custody will be considered, and he comes ready for that.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with 200 hours unpaid work and banned Kolakovic from driving for two years.
He said: “It would be a fair summary to say that the impression I was left with was your driving was that of a boy racer. You are too old to be a boy racer.
“You lost control making a sharp turn, the back end swung out on the cobbles, the drive wheels got better grip on the tarmac and the car surged forward and you had no chance of controlling what happened.”