Student fined £600 after causing crash that put man in wheelchair

A student left a biker in intensive care for six weeks, hospitalised for eight months and with life-changing injuries after ploughing his car head on into his victim's motorcycle has been fined £600.
Angus Oliver. Picture: Kingdom News AgencyAngus Oliver. Picture: Kingdom News Agency
Angus Oliver. Picture: Kingdom News Agency

Angus Oliver’s Volkswagen Polo hit Peter Lindsay’s BMW motorcycle head on after Oliver crossed the centre line of the road on the rural B941 road between Colinsburgh and Largoward in Fife.

Mr Lindsay and his wife, Diane, were thrown from the bike on to a grass verge while Oliver’s car rolled before catching fire.

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Oliver walked away without serious injury – but Mr and Mrs Lindsay suffered horrific consequences.

Mr Lindsay (63) was rushed to the Victoria Infirmary in Kirkcaldy where he was placed in intensive care with fractures to his pelvis, ribs, leg and elbow as well as a ruptured bladder before being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for further treatment.

He stayed in the ICU there for six weeks before being transferred first to Ninewells in Dundee then St Andrews Community Hospital before finally being discharged in April 2017 – some eight months after the smash.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard he has suffered “life changing” injuries, may need a replacement elbow joint and has to use a wheelchair for travelling more than short distances.

Mrs Lindsay suffered five fractured ribs, a broken arm and an elbow injury but was abble to be discharged within a week.

A sheriff told Oliver the injuries suffered by Mr and Mrs Lindsay were “terrible” but “entirely disproportionate to the level of carelessness that you displayed”.

Oliver - who attended a £36,000 a year private school in Oxfordshire before starting a course at Edinburgh University – was fined £600 and given six penalty points on his driving licence after lawyers negotiated a plea to one charge of careless driving.

He had originally faced two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving - an offence that could carry a prison sentence.

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It is understood the Lindsays are set to sue Oliver and his insurers for compensation for their injuries.

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court: “Mr and Mrs Lindsay had gone out on their motorbike with Mrs Lindsay riding pillion.

“They approached a right hand corner and found the accused’s vehicle was in the opposite side of the carriageway driving with his sister in the front passenger seat.

“For a reason unknown to them he strayed over the white line as he come out of the corner causing a head on collision with the motorcycle.

“They were thrown over the car he was driving and landed on a near side verge.”

Oliver (22) of Stokehill Farm, Stoke, Andover, Hampshire, pleaded guilty on indictment to careless driving on August 16 2016 on the B941 in Fife.

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said: “His reaction following the collision was to get out of the car and go to the assistance of the injured parties.

“He has no immediate recollection of the exact events of the incident.

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“He was driving a road he was familiar with and the next thing he remembers is the vehicle rolling and then catching fire as a result.

“There is no suggestion it was anything but a momentary lapse that gave rise to this situation.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a £600 fine and placed six points on Oliver’s driving licence.

He said: “I’m required to consider the quality of your driving at the time of the offence.

“You are unaware of what happened and I can’t wander into the realms of speculation to fill in the gaps.

“You crossed the centre line - you are therefore responsible.

“You have accepted responsibility and expressed remorse and have not driven since.

“The injuries sustained were entirely disproportionate to the level of carelessness that you displayed.”

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