Learner driver jailed for killing pensioner in crash

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A learner driver who killed a 68-year-old great gran in a car crash while driving on the wrong side of the road was yesterday jailed for six years.

At the High Court in Glasgow Thomas Devlin, 26, of Auchinleck, Ayrshire, admitted causing the death of pensioner Isabella Miller from Dumfries

Isabella Miller. Picture: Police Scotland

Isabella Miller. Picture: Police Scotland

The court heard that Devlin’s Peugeot 307 overtook two cars – hitting one – and was on the wrong side of the road when he collided with a Vauxhall Antara. His car came to rest on its roof and he ran off leaving Mrs Miller trapped and dying in the back seat of her daughter-in-law’s car.

Later when interviewed by police Devlin told them: “I thought both those cars had crashed before I hit them.”

He then stated: “Everything was just a big blur.”

Yesterday judge Lord Burns told him: “You drove in what you accept was a dangerous fashion for a substantial period. As a result of your driving Mrs Miller died. You fled the scene without stopping. This is a most serious offence a flagrant disregard for the rules of the road and the great danger caused to others.”

Lord Burns also ordered Devlin to serve a consecutive sentence of 11 weeks for failing to stop after the crash and banned from driving for eight years.

The court heard that Devlin overtook a Ford Focus around 11pm on 24 March and as he did so clipped the driver’s mirror.

He then overtook another car and drove at speed on the wrong side of the road before smashing into a Vauxhall Antara in which Mrs Miller was a passenger.

Driver Donna Miller – Isabella’s daughter-in-law – tried to avoid the collision and swerved. Her car struck the kerb rolled and rotated and hit the Ford Focus

Mrs Miller , who had four sons, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren, sustained fracture to her spine, ribs and pelvis and a tear to a major blood vessel.

Prosecutor Angela Gray said: “Mrs Miller was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:30pm. The post mortem findings indicated that she would have died quickly on impact.”

Mrs Miller and her son Mark and daughter-in-law Donna had been returning home from a birthday party at a bowling club in Cumnock. Ayrshire.

Devlin admitted causing the death of Mrs Miller by dangerous driving on the A76 Kilmarnock to Dumfries near to Skerrington roundabout, Cumnock on 24 March.