Road ban for bus driver who pinned woman to wall in Perthshire

© DC Thomson
Broich Road has been the focus of road safety concerns for many years.

A bus driver left a pedestrian with life-threatening injuries after slamming his double-decker bus into her as he tried to negotiate a Perthshire road.

Fraser McGregor was attempting to mount a pavement to manoeuvre around parked cars when the vehicle lurched forward and collided with Lena Tocher.

The incident in Crieff’s Broich Road left Ms Tocher with a fractured femur, a broken pelvis and injuries to her chest.

She was treated by a trauma team at the scene before being rushed to Ninewells hospital. At one point during her ordeal, the then-44-year-old’s heart stopped beating.

At Perth Sheriff Court on Monday, McGregor, who was sacked by Stagecoach following the crash, was disqualified from driving for six months.

Depute fiscal Sue Ruta said the accident happened shortly before 4pm on November 6 2015.

“The accused turned the bus towards the nearside and tried to mount the pavement to allow oncoming traffic more space to pass,” she said. “Lena Tocher saw the bus and stopped walking.

“As the accused continued driving slowly the bus suddenly veered to the left and collided with the building wall where Lena Tocher was standing. She was pinned between the bus and the wall.

“After a few seconds the accused reversed the bus in order to free Lena Tocher, who then fell to the ground.”

Police crash investigators later found that McGregor had not mounted the pavement, but had driven along with the wheel against the kerb and his steering at full lock. When the wheel came to a section of dropped kerb the bus lurched on to the pavement towards Ms Tocher.

Advocate Stephen Hughes, defending, said McGregor, 26, had lost his job with Stagecoach and had worked as a delivery driver and a taxi driver since the crash.

He said: “The incident was pretty much momentary – the mounting of the pavement appears to have been caused by pressure of the bus tyre on the kerb.”

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis noted that while there was a specific offence of causing serious injury through dangerous driving, there was no equivalent in relation to dangerous driving.

McGregor, of Glencarse, admitted causing serious injury to Ms Tocher, 45, by driving carelessly and causing the bus to mount the pavement on Crieff’s Broich Road.

In addition to the driving ban, McGregor must resit his driving test before being allowed behind the wheel again. He was also fined £800.

Ms Tocher previously revealed that being overweight may have saved her life.

She told The Courier: “I was 19 stone when it happened and had just been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid two days before,” she said.

“I was told if it wasn’t for my weight I wouldn’t be here.”

She added: “I was going in and out of consciousness and remember lots of people around me. I remember coughing and seeing blood and asking whose blood is that.”