Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Car faults to blame for Highland handyman’s death

Andy Thursby was described as “one of life’s characters” by Ann Gloag
Andy Thursby was described as “one of life’s characters” by Ann Gloag

A handyman on millionairess Ann Gloag’s Highland estate may have been killed because low tyre pressure caused his car to skid into a head-on collision.

The engine, radiator and battery flew out of 76-year-old Andy Thursby’s blue Vauxhall Corsa due to the impact of the Hogmanay 2016 three-vehicle crash.

A police collision expert said that the tyres, which had less than the recommended pressure and worn tread, could have led to Mr Thursby temporarily losing control.

PC Iain Mathers told a fatal accident inquiry in Inverness: “There is no obvious reason for the collision.”

Long-serving member of staff at Highland estate killed in car accident

But the officer told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that a combination of a damp road, the inadequate tyres, and a momentary inattention by Mr Thursby could have led him to destabilise his vehicle on an ‘S’ bend of the A862 between Muir of Ord and Conon Bridge.

He added that the impact tore the engine, radiator and battery from its mountings and they were found in a nearby field.

The small saloon car drove directly into the path of an oncoming Toyota Hi-Lux pick up truck and trailer being driven by Muir of Ord farmer, Thomas Morrison.

The 50-year-old told the inquiry: “I was going to turn off to Conon Bridge in 100 metres when I saw his tyres flip to the left. He came towards me on the bend – there was nowhere to go. It happened that quick – in two seconds, it hardly registered.

“It was almost like he over-corrected. His car spun to the right and hit the car following him.”

Beaufort Castle

That car was a Mini Cooper being driven by 39 year old store manager Trina Murray.

She told the inquiry: “He veered to the other side of the road and hit the oncoming pick-up truck, spun round in the middle of the road and hit my Mini.

“I got out of the car and called 999. I was speaking to him but he was not saying a lot. He was struggling to breathe.”

Mr Thursby died later that night in Raigmore Hospital from multiple injuries. The inquiry heard he had no underlying medical condition, or drink or drugs in his system.

Fiscal Geoffrey Main asked the Sheriff not to make a finding on the cause of the crash. “We have heard possible scenarios but the reason is not known.”

The Sheriff will issue a written determination later.

After the crash, Ann Gloag described her former employee as “one of life’s characters.” He had worked on the estate at Beaufort Castle near Beauly for around 50 years, both for the Lovat family and then Mrs Gloag.

Mr Thursby was well known around the local area as an active member of the local Scout group.

Already a subscriber? Sign in