Female chief constable crashed into me, claims woman
SCOTLAND’S first female chief constable was yesterday accused of causing a head-on car crash by driving on the wrong side of the road.
A court heard how the driver of the car she collided with broke her collar bone, injured her leg, and was off work for four months.
Witnesses told how they saw Norma Graham, 49, drive her Audi Quattro on the wrong side of the B922 near Glenrothes while she was on her way to work at around 8am on 7 February last year.
They described how the two cars “bounced off each other” and smoke billowed from each vehicle after the smash.
Hannah Shedden, 25, told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court she had pulled her Renault Clio out of the driveway of her home in Kinglassie when she saw the Audi driving towards her.
The physiotherapist broke down in tears at Graham’s trial when she was shown photographs of the cars taken after the incident.
She said: “I saw a car heading towards me so I hit my brakes. The car was on my side of the road and it was heading straight towards me. Originally I thought it was to avoid something like a cyclist. I remember going through in my head I could either keep straight, steer into the other side of the road or into a stone wall. So I kept straight; then we collided. After, I thought, ‘S***, I need to get out the car’. My engine was hissing. I wanted to get out and someone came and helped me.”
Miss Shedden, who had been on her way to work in Falkirk, told the court that she spent three days in hospital where she was treated for a broken collar bone and had surgery on her left knee.
She told how she was forced to take four months off work while she recovered.
Graham, of Dalkeith, who retired as chief constable of Fife Constabulary six months after the crash, was also injured.
The 49-year-old is on trial for driving carelessly and for failing to keep her Audi under control, causing it to collide with Miss Shedden’s car. She denies the offences.
Witness Laura Binney told the court she was driving behind the Clio when she saw the Audi coming towards it on the wrong side of the road. She said: “The car collided at an angle and the cars kind of bounced off each other..
“There was smoke coming from both cars. I heard shouting coming from the Clio so I got out my car and ran towards it.”
Miss Binney’s partner Graham Campbell described how the Audi “came out of nowhere”.
He said: “It was an incredible impact. The Renault was up on its nose then came back again and there was a lot of smoke.”
He said it looked like the Clio was travelling at around 40mph and the Audi 50mph. Investigating officer Colin Morrison told the court the temperature was minus 4C and patches of ice were found around 100 metres from where the cars collided.
He said: “I wouldn’t expect one or two patches of ice by themselves to make a four-wheel drive car like this lose control, but a number of patches could have an effect.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ross Bennett described how, when he arrived on the scene, Graham was bleeding from her neck.
The trial continues.
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