Samantha Goff, from South Queensferry, pled guilty yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to causing the death of 60-year old Alan McBain and severely injuring his wife Dawn McBain by driving without due care and attention.
She also admitted to failing to maintain proper observation, failing to take appropriate action to pass the couple, losing control of her car and crashing into a field. Sheriff Donald Corke deferred sentencing until June 12 and disqualified Goff from driving.
Fiscal Iain Gray of the Road Accident Fatalities Investigation Unit told Sheriff Corke that Goff passed her driving test on December 14, 2016, and the accident occurred on January 30 the next year.
Mr and Mrs McBain had married in March 1987 and had one daughter and a granddaughter.
Mr McBain had retired from his job as a security officer at Edinburgh Airport just four weeks before the accident, which happened just after 11am.
The court heard the couple had been walking eastwards in single file along an unclassified road between Standing Stane Road and the Kirkliston to South Queensferry Road. They were facing oncoming traffic and wearing purple jackets when they were struck by the Mini Cooper, which was travelling in the westerly direction. Mr Gray said the car became airborne and landed in a field.
Goff made a 999 call about 11.40am and was in a hysterical and distressed state.
She told police: “I have just been in a car accident. I have crashed into two people.” Goff added: “I came round a corner and saw two people right in front of me. I tried to swerve and they went the same way. I tried to go the other way and that’s when I lost control”.
An investigation into the accident estimated Goff had been travelling at 37mph. The speed limit on the unclassified road was 60mph.
Mr McBain was attended by paramedics at the scene. He sustained injuries to his head, chest and abdomen and was pronounced dead at 12.30am.
Mrs McBain was said to have no recollection of the crash due to her critical injuries. She was put into an induced coma and spent five weeks in hospital. Her spine had been broken and she had injuries to her skull and suffered from memory loss. Mrs McBain needed two operations on her leg and back and is now in constant pain and uses a walking stick.
Defence solicitor Colm Dempsey said his client had no previous convictions. He added: “This is a tragic case with catastrophic consequences.”