A delivery driver who was seen slumped over the wheel shortly before he caused a head-on crash which left a woman with career-ending injuries has been cleared of dangerous driving.
A court heard Sofology driver Jordan Whyte told victim Shannon Batt he had fallen asleep at the wheel before drifting into the opposite carriageway and hitting her car at high speed.
However, Whyte, who also hit a second oncoming car, was cleared after a sheriff ruled the Crown had failed to prove he had been sleeping at the time of the accident.
A dangerous driving charge against Whyte, whose colleague Thomas Davidson, 20, was asleep in the passenger seat, was not proven at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday.
The court was told the pair were more than eight hours into a shift delivering sofas around Scotland when the crash happened on the A9 Pitlochry to Perth road, near Dunkeld.
Miss Batt, 20, told the trial she saw the car in front of her swerve into a layby then saw a Mercedes Luton van on her side of the road.
“The driver was looking down towards their feet. I could only see the top of their head,” she said.
“The van hit the driver’s side of my car.”
She said when she opened her eyes, the side of her car and the windscreen were smashed and there was blood everywhere.
“I panicked and tried to get out the driver’s side but the damage was too bad and I couldn’t get the door open. Some people came and helped me get out the passenger side. They dragged me.
“I’ve still got glass in my arm. I’ve got really bad nerve damage and scars and because of this I have lost my career as a hairdresser.”
Mr Davidson said he and Whyte had started work in Bathgate at 6am and had delivered sofas in Aberdeen before the crash happened around 2pm on November 29 2017.
He said he was woken by “a loud bang” when his colleague struck the first vehicle.
Whyte, 26, Mossbank, Livingston, said he could not remember the moments before the crash but he had suffered a blackout later that night and again the following morning and believed this was what had led to the crash.
He said numerous medical tests had been inconclusive and he had not suffered any similar blackouts since.
Depute fiscal Matthew Kerr said: “There is nothing in the medical records to show he was unconscious, as opposed to asleep, beyond the accused’s word.”
However, Sheriff Gillian Wade found the charge not proven, saying: “The Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt you were asleep and did not suffer a blackout. I am unable to say I’m satisfied the charge is proved beyond reasonable doubt.”