Man who killed OAP by reversing on her spared jail

A STREET cleaner who killed an OAP by reversing over an OAP and dragged her along the road during a moment of “inattention” has avoided a jail term.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court. Picture: Hemedia

Allan Mackie pulled across a road in Dalgety Bay when he noticed a bin bag blowing in the street.

He then began to reverse as Mary McNeill, who was in the town shopping, began to cross the Fife town’s Moray Way.

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Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard the Ford Transit pick-up truck Mackie was driving struck Mrs McNeill, 76, on the nearside of the van.

She was run over by the rear left wheel of the vehicle then dragged down the street for a short distance.

A sheriff told Mackie the case was “tragic” - and gave him a community payback order instead of sending him to prison.

Mackie was also banned from the road for six months.

It is understood Fife Council have now fitted reversing cameras to their vehicles to avoid similar future tragedies.

Fiscal depute Claire Bremner told the court: “She would have been visible in the near side mirror prior to the impact.

“She would have been visible for three to four seconds behind the vehicle. She was struck by the vehicle and knocked to the ground.

“The vehicle continued reversing and the left rear wheel ran over her. She was dragged along the roadway in an easterly direction.

“At around this time a member of the public passing saw her legs on the roadway. The woman stopped and spoke to the accused who was in his cab and said ‘I didn’t see her’.

“He was holding his mobile phone and the woman said to call emergency services. A nurse passing found a strong pulse in Mrs McNeill’s neck which grew gradually weaker.

“It became apparent she stopped breathing and CPR was commenced and other members of the public stopped to give assistance.

“It them became apparent she had died. The accused was taken to hospital in an ambulance in a severe state of shock. The cause of death was recorded as multiple chest injuries.”

Mackie, 45, of Langside Avenue, Leven, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to causing Mrs McNeill’s death by careless driving on May 23 2013.

Defence advocate Barney Ross said: “This is a genuinely tragic case and for his part Mr Mackie is deeply remorseful.

“He has instructed me to apologise to the family and friends of those affected by the death of Mary McNeill and extends his condolences to them.

“Fortunately the relatives and friends of the deceased were spared from sitting through an upsetting trial.”

Sheriff Craig McSherry imposed a community payback order with 240 hours unpaid work and disqualified Mackie from driving for six months.

He said: “The circumstances are that there was a failure to check his mirrors and if that had happened it is likely Mrs McNeill would have been seen.

“The Crown have accepted this was a case of momentary inattention.

“I have no doubt the accused has deep and lasting remorse - he has been in a state of shock and it has had a lasting psychological effect.”

Speaking after her death, Mary’s daughter, Valerie, said: “Mary McNeill had recently moved to the Dalgety Bay area.

“She was an active lady who enjoyed the company of family and friends.

“Mary will be sadly missed by all who knew her, especially her family.”