Outdoors instructor admits causing horror road smash

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An outdoors instructor’s careless driving caused his car to cross a solid white line in the middle of a bend on the A82 road near Laggan Locks, resulting in a collision that saw him and the occupants of the other vehicle hospitalised.

At Fort William Sheriff Court this week, Matthew Jones, 40, who was described as now living with his parents in Northampton, pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving on May 27.

The court heard the vehicle coming in the opposite direction tried to take evasive action but was unable to get out of the way of Jones’s Ford Focus due to the steepness of the verge and a fence.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Matthew Kerr described how Jones had to be cut free from his car by firefighters and was taken to the Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, while the driver and passenger from the other vehicle were treated at the Belford Hospital in Fort William.

Jones sustained fractures to his leg, pelvis, ankle and arm as well as a splenic laceration, while one of the crash victims from the other car suffered a fractured ankle and bruising to a hand, with the other one suffering broken fingers and cuts to the feet.

Defence agent Michael Lyon said his client was ‘a man wracked with guilt over the consequences of his driving’.

And he added: ‘Mr Jones was the most seriously injured and his position is that he was the person most deserving to be the one seriously injured as this was his fault.’

Mr Lyon told the court that Jones, who faces further hospital operations as part of on-going treatment for the injuries he suffered in the smash, had been forced to return home to live with his parents as he was not fit enough yet to resume work as an outdoors instructor.

Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald banned Jones from driving for four months and fined him £400.