A driver has been fined and had his licence endorsed after causing a road accident while transporting a patient to Raigmore Hospital.
Jack Morrison, 64, of 125 Kinlochbervie, Lairg admitted driving without due care attention and carrying out an overtaking maneuvre when it was not safe on the A835 Ullapool to Tore road on August 30 last year.
Dingwall Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Morrison was working as a patient transport vehicle driver for the Scottish Ambulance Service when the accident happened.
Fiscal depute Stewart MacIver told the court that Morrison had been sitting in a queue of traffic behind a 4×4 towing a trailer.
Mr Maciver said: “The driver at the head of the queue had been looking to pull over to allow the traffic to clear and indicated to pull into a lay-by on the right hand side of the road.
“The other traffic slowed accordingly but Mr Morrison pulled out to overtake the line of traffic.
“The gentleman in the 4×4 had begun his maneuvre across the road and the two vehicles collided and ended up off the road.”
Mr Maciver added that both Morrison and his passenger Alexander Macleod had suffered cuts and grazes during the accident.
The court heard that Morrison had overtaken three other vehicles before the collision.
Defence agent Alison Foggo said that Morrison was a former fisherman who had taken up his job with the ambulance service after suffering a knee injury.
She added that her client had volunteered from the coastguard in Kinlochbervie for more than 40 years.
Ms Foggo told losing his licence would be “catastrophic” for Morrison as we would lose both his job and his position with the coastguard.
She added: “It is a cause of enormous regret for him, especially that it happened in the course of carrying out a job that he loves.
“This was a momentary lapse in judgement which he has regretted ever since.”
Sheriff Noel McPartlin fined Morrison £240 and endorsed his licence with six penalty points.
He said: “Ms Foggo referred to your conduct as a momentary lapse but I would say it was more of a misjudgement.
“You have a responsible job and it would seem unfair to threaten that with a disqualification.”