Driver who left man for dead after Aberdeenshire crash jailed

Police are concerned for the girl's safety
Police are concerned for the girl's safety

A CALLOUS hit-and-run driver who left a police officer for dead after crashing into him has been jailed for more than seven years.

Ewan Simpson had to have his leg amputated after Alan Tait’s Volvo smashed into him as he was travelling home from work on his motorcycle last October.

Tait, who was uninsured and fell asleep at the wheel, left the badly injured officer in a dark field without calling for help.

Mr Simpson, 32, tried to drag himself from the field but got snared on barbed wire. Fearing for his life, he used a belt to stem the flow of blood from his leg and attempted to throw his helmet onto the road to attract attention.

He was only rescued when two nurses heard his desperate cries for help.

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The officer lost part of his leg and spent two months in hospital as a result of the horrific crash.

Tait, 36, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for seven years and three months at the High Court in Lanark.

He was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

The crash happened on the A952 road near Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, shortly after midnight on October 27.

The officer was heading home from his shift at nearby Fraserburgh police station when Tait’s car veered into his path.

Prosecutor Lynsey Rodger told an earlier hearing: “Tait did not brake and did not make any attempt to avoid colliding.”

He ploughed into Mr Simpson, crushing his right leg. The officer was thrown into the air and hit the ground several times before ending up in a field.

Tait, who had been driving back from Liverpool, eventually came to a stop in a ditch. As Mr Simpson cried out in pain, Tait got out and initially asked if he was hurt. He then walked off, claiming he would have to get help, as Mr Simpson begged him to stay.

Another motorist - Alexander Buchan - was driving on the same road when he saw Tait’s car and pulled over.

Tait, described as ‘worked up and wired’, then asked for a lift to Fraserburgh.

He told the motorist that no one else had been involved in the accident and refused Mr Buchan’s offer of his mobile phone to call someone.

Advocate depute Miss Rodger added: “He said he thought he must have fallen asleep because he had been driving since the previous morning.”

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Tait, of Fraserburgh, was eventually dropped off and went to the home of a friend who called the police.

Mr Simpson suffered multiple fractures to his right foot, ankle and lower leg.

He also had fractures to his right arm, which needed bone grafts and a metal plate inserted.

Tait’s defence advocate Emma Toner said: “He accepts this all happened as a result of him driving while tired and falling asleep at the wheel and in doing so he drove dangerously.

“He accepts he did not act properly by leaving the scene, failing to seek help and failed Mr Simpson in every way.

“He has faced up to the devastating and life altering consequences his actions have caused.

“The extent of the injuries caused is something that he thinks about every day and it weighs heavily on his conscience.

“He wishes to extend his sincerest apologies to Mr Simpson and his family.

“He has expressed genuine shame and accepts the inevitability of a custodial sentence.”

Tait also admitted five other charges, including culpable and reckless conduct by failing to get help.

Sentencing him, judge Lord Bannatyne said: “You must have known that it was unlikely the complainer would be found given where he was and you continued this appalling behaviour by getting a lift and denying to that person there was anyone else injured and when you had the chance to call for help you did not do so.

“The complainer must have been in some pain to crawl through a field to try and get help and it is difficult to imagine the fear he must have suffered that night.”

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