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Woman hospitalised after Dyce driver hit her while ‘testing out brakes’

Jamie Ritchie outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Jamie Ritchie outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

An elderly woman was hospitalised just days before Christmas after being thrown into the air when she was struck by a careless driver – who was out “testing his brakes”.

Jamie Ritchie failed to spot two women crossing the road in Dyce as he sped along Riverview Drive because he wanted to test the brakes out on his black Ford Fiesta.

The 23-year-old’s wing mirror struck one woman, flinging her into the air and causing her to wipe out her friend in the process.

The women were aged 76 and 70.

Both women landed “a few feet” away on the Dyce pavement, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Fiscal depute David Ballock said Ritchie had been speeding, it was dark, and the roads were wet when the accident happened just days before Christmas on December 21, 2020.

“He was seen approaching the junction on Riverview Drive,” the fiscal said. “He accelerated harshly and his wheels were spinning.

“He continued driving north where two pedestrians were at the side of the carriageway waiting to see if it was safe to cross.

“They saw his vehicle approaching from the side heading north towards them but they were confident due to the distance away of the vehicle it was safe enough for them to cross.

“When they stepped into the bike lane, all of a sudden the accused accelerated harshly and just as they were about to step onto the pavement at a drop kerb one was struck by the near side wing mirror.”

‘I didn’t see you’

The woman was “thrown into” her walking companion resulting in both of them coming to rest “several feet away from the side of the road”.

Ritchie stopped his car to assist and told the pair: “I didn’t see you”.

One woman underwent surgery for lacerations to both buttocks and spent several days in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary recovering.

Ritchie, a gas turbine inspector, admitted a careless driving charge and a further charge of driving without insurance.

He told police at the time that he had concerns about his brakes, despite his car having passed an MOT just three weeks prior.

He also stated: “In my defence, it was dark and they were wearing dark clothing. The part of the road they were crossing was just after a bend.”

Riverview Drive runs around Dyce centre.

Officers seized his car and an examination found erosion issues with his callipers and pads.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client had been told there was a “stickiness” about his brakes so he had decided to test them out on a road he knew well.

‘Christmas was clearly ruined’

“He realises the consequences could have been catastrophic,” Mr Kelly said. “He took his car out to test the brakes, he made a cursory glance but didn’t see the women.”

He said Ritchie, a keen mountain hiker was aware he would lose his licence and has accepted responsibility for his driving falling below the standard required.

“He was apologetic to both ladies at the time, ” he added. “He is desperately sorry. This lady’s Christmas was clearly ruined.”

Aberdeen Sheriff Court building
Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin handed Ritchie, of Tornashean Gardens, Dyce, a £520 fine and an eight-months road ban.

He was admonished over the failure to update insurance details to include car modifications which left his cover null and void.

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