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Pensioner vows to ‘never drive again’ after causing serious Aberdeenshire crash

Aberdeen Sheriff Court
Aberdeen Sheriff Court

A 72-year-old has pledged to never drive again after he seriously injured a man in a crash.

Parkinson’s sufferer John Donald veered onto the wrong side of the road as he struggled to cope with the bright lights coming towards him.

His Range Rover Evoque crashed into an oncoming Vauxhall Astra on the A944 Aberdeen to Alford road, near Dunecht, on January 23.

The driver of the Astra, Neil Heggie, suffered “traumatic brain injuries”.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, Donald, of Forbes Lodge, Strathdon, admitted driving carelessly – and vowed never to get behind the wheel again.

Fiscal depute Lynzi Souter told the court that since the crash, Mr Heggie has struggled with his balance, learning, and keeping up with conversations with more than one person.

Donald’s solicitor Ian Woodward-Nutt said the retired architect had surrendered his licence after the incident.

“Mr Donald wishes to express how sorry he is,” he added.

“He has decided to never drive again.”

Mr Woodward-Nutt said his client has Parkinson’s disease and the headlights of oncoming traffic had been affecting him in the dark.

Donald and his wife had been sharing the driving and were looking for a place to pull over and swap when the crash happened.

The DVLA had been informed when doctors made the diagnosis in 2002 and had still cleared him to take to the road.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank issued him with a £465 fine and disqualified him from holding a driving licence for six months.

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