A lorry driver flipped his truck in a terrifying crash while he had remnants of cocaine in his system.
James Thouless was lucky to walk away when his lorry hit standing water and overturned as it crashed into a field.
But the incident still cost the 39-year-old dearly – as he lost both his job and marriage as a result.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that weather, not drugs, was to blame for the crash.
Fiscal depute Victoria Kerr said the incident happened on the B9170 in Methlick around 3.15pm on August 29 last year.
Lorry overturned in field
She said: “The accused was employed by ARR Craib and was the driver of a lorry.
“At 3.15pm, police were instructed to attend a single vehicle RTC (road traffic collision) involving an overturned lorry.”
Officers arrived at the scene and found Thouless standing next to the vehicle.
It was also noted there had been heavy rain which resulted in standing water on the road surface.
Ms Kerr continued: “The accused advised he had hit the surface water and had been unable to stop, leading to the lorry overturning and landing in a field.
“On speaking with the accused, officers noted a strong smell of cannabis and he provided a positive drugs wipe.”
He was arrested and taken to Kittybrewster station where blood samples were taken which confirmed the presence of not cannabis but benzoylecgonine – a metabolite of cocaine.
Thouless, of Kirkhill Road, Aberdeen, pled guilty to driving with 666 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood.
The legal limit for driving is 50 microgrammes.
‘The regulations are there for the protection of the public’
Defence agent Graham Morrison said his client had been an HGV driver for 18 years.
He said: “The accident that occurred was due to the weather conditions.
“It cost him dear in that he immediately lost his job, his wife kicked him out and he was basically homeless. He’s now staying with his brother.”
Mr Morrison went on: “The drug in question is the metabolite of cocaine.
“It was his habit to use cocaine in the evenings when he finished work. The metabolite obviously remained in his system.
“My research says that it does not affect the driver at all. It had no impact or impairment on his driving.
“He had cocaine in his system but it was below the legal limit.”
The solicitor added Thouless was now looking for a new career path.
Sheriff Christian Marney warned Thouless: “The regulations are there, ultimately, for the protection of the public.”
He fined him £420 and disqualified him for a year.
For all the latest court cases in Aberdeen as well as crime and breaking incidents, join our Facebook group.