View Full Version : Inquiry restart

01-Sep-14, 09:45
Court to hear from final witnesses in Auckengill accident tragedy

THE inquiry into the death of a holidaymaker in a serious road accident, in the North of Scotland will hear from final witnesses when it resumes tomorrow.
Elaine Dunne died when a car driven by 93-year-old Alice Ross suddenly veered onto its wrong side of the road at Auckengill and collided with her and her husband Christopher Dunne, at Auckengill, in Caithness. He sustained multiple injuries but recovered, following the accident on September 21, 2011, on the A99. The couple, from Leicester, were on a cycling holiday to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and had stopped at a roadside croft, to change into rainwear.
Mrs Ross, who has a history of blackouts, was said to have experienced one of her “funny turns” and remembered nothing of the collision following which she ended up in a field at the wheel of her Nissan Micra car. The turn she took is thought to have been heart related.
Mrs Ross, a retired shopkeeper, told the inquiry that she always recovered after the brief episodes and had never had any concerns about driving. She gave up driving after the crash.
The widow now 96, casually mentioned one of the blackouts to a nurse at her GP medical practice while getting a routine check for high blood pressure but a test revealed nothing abnormal.
She expressed her sorrow at the end of her evidence at a special sitting of the court in a church hall in her home village of Lybster. She said she was “sorry” for what had happened, adding “very sorry”. She gave up driving after the accident.
Mr Dunne, who had travelled north, with family members, to hear the inquiry evidence, said after the hearing, adjourned on August 21 that he hoped it would lead to the introduction of stringent medical examinations to ensure that elderly drivers were safe behind the wheel.
Legal representatives, fiscal Alasdsair MacDonald for the Crown, advocate Hugh Olson, for licensing authority, the DVLA and James McMillan, representing Mrs Ross, have all indicated their intention not to make closing speeches at the end of the inquiry but make written submissions to Sheriff Andrew Berry who will make his determination – response – in writing, in due course
The inquiry system allows a sheriff to add a rider or recommendation if he feels that steps can be taken to avoid a death recurring.