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Sheriff says it is “urgent” 2015 Crieff bus crash trial gets under way soon

Perth Sheriff Court.
Perth Sheriff Court.

A bus driver accused of causing significant injury to a woman in Crieff by driving dangerously has failed in a fourth bid to have his trial abandoned.

Witnesses were again present at Perth Sheriff Court as Fraser McGregor sat in the dock to plead, unsuccessfully, for more time to prepare his defence.

He denies driving dangerously in Crieff’s Broich Road in an incident that saw Lena Tocher pinned against a wall by the 26-year-old’s bus after it mounted a pavement.

The accident happened almost two years ago, on November 6, 2015, while the court case has been running for 16 months.

Ms Tocher was taken to intensive care following the crash and placed in an induced coma as medics treated her for severe crush injuries.

At the time, those injuries were said to include lacerated kidneys and liver, a broken femur, shattered pelvis, a bruised and bleeding heart and broken bones in her back.

The case against McGregor has called on numerous occasions – and been repeatedly delayed as his legal team has sought new information.

For some months they have wanted a fresh report from a crash scene investigator after expressing dissatisfaction with a first report, obtained at public expense.

During his latest appearance, Sheriff Gillian Wade expressed disquiet at the lack of progress being made.

She told McGregor the case would recall on Wednesday to allow lawyers to make one final effort to secure the information they believe is missing from the defence report.

The sheriff said she was unlikely to be willing to abandon the case again given the time that had passed since the accident and the disruption caused to witnesses, including Ms Tocher.

Sheriff Wade added: “This is a case that has some history as the events behind it date back to November 2015.

“It is a very serious matter for the lady involved and her family, not to mention the accused himself.

“This is an important and sensitive matter and urgent steps must be taken to bring this to trial.

“It is unlikely the court will allow a further adjournment.”

McGregor, 26, of Glencarse, denies a charge alleging that he caused serious injury to Lena Tocher by driving a bus dangerously, causing the vehicle to mount the pavement and collide with her and pin her against a wall to her serious injury.

The court heard that CCTV footage taken from the bus would be available to view during the trial.

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