Crash victim has to sleep sitting up

A MOTOR cyclist, seriously injured after being hit by a van, has to sleep sitting up and take antibiotics for the rest of his life a sheriff heard yesterday.
The van driver, William Coghill, admitted careless driving and was fined 600, at Wick Sheriff Court. He was also banned from driving for nine months.
The accident occurred at the Broubster to Achreamie crossroads, at Shebster, near the village of Reay, on May 6. It happened as Coghill, 62, was about to turn right but failed to observe the motorbike approach from the opposing direction.
Fiscal Fraser Matheson said that the motorbike driver, Ian Mackay, travelling at 60mph suddenly saw the Mercedes Sprinter van suddenly cross into his path.
Mr Matheson continued: "He had no time to brake or take evasive action and collided with the near, rearside of the van. Mr Mackay was thrown onto the verge at the side of the carriageway."
Other drivers who stopped at the scene,"displayed commendable spirit" using their vehicles to block the road pending the arrival of the emergency services. The accused made the comment to bystanders: "I just didn't see him"
Mr Matheson, turning to the injuries sustained by Mr Mackay said that he suffered two rib fractures, a fractured left shoulder blade, there was air in the chest cavity and he required a blood transfusion in hospital.
The fiscal continued;"He is unable to bend or lie down and requires to sleep sitting up and takes pain killers every two hours. The police tell me that Coghill was fully co-operative and was very remorseful and visibly shaken over what had taken place."
Solicitor Zoe McDonald said: "The accused feels absolutely terrible about the incident which he thinks about every day."
She said that Coghill had looked ahead as he approached the crossroads and checked his mirror before beginning his right-turn manoeuvre.
"Unfortunately, the junction area became his focus as he turned" said Ms McDonald.. "It was a momentary lapse of attention to the road ahead, resulting in him failing to see the motorbike before he started his turn. He simply didn't see the bike."
Ms MacDonald said that Coghill, covered some 30,000 miles each years in the course of his job as delivery driver and stressed that disqualification would terminate his employment. At his age, alternative work would be unlikely.
She added that the accused fully appreciated the serious consequences of her client's standard of driving.
Sheriff Andrew Berry told Coghill, of Tether's End, Dunn, village of Watten: "I am advised that this is a matter of great regret to you and I have no reason to think that you are anything other than someone of absolutely good character. However, none of that, in reality, will be any consolation to Mr Mackay who suffered some life-changing injuries none of which were his fault. This was a moment's inattention with very serious consequences and in the public interest I must take that into account. You drove directly into the path on an oncoming motor cycle with dreadful consequences."
The sheriff added that while he took into account the possible job consequences for Coghill, the consequences for Mr Mackay were serious and disqualification must be imposed in the public interest..