The trial of a retired accountant, accused of causing the death of a pensioner friend, has been postponed for a third time.
Iain Mortimer, 72, is said to have failed to keep an eye on the road ahead, crashing his E-class Mercedes into an articulated lorry parked in a lay-by beside the A9 dual carriageway in Perthshire.
It is alleged that the black Mercedes then ricocheted across the road, hitting a Vauxhall Astra.
Mortimer’s front-seat passenger, Mervyn Bowden, of Kirkhill, Inverness-shire, a 72-year-old widower and great-grandfather, died at the scene of the accident, north of Dunblane.
Both men were worshippers at Kirkhill Parish Church, where Mortimer edited the church newsletter.
Mortimer was due to face trial at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday, but the case was postponed “administratively” to the new year.
He will now face trial on February 27, after another preliminary hearing on February 11.
Mortimer was originally due to face trial in July. This was then postponed until October, and then until yesterday, before the latest adjournment.
The single charge against Mortimer, of Beauly, Inverness-shire, alleges that, on the dual carriageway between Perth and Stirling near the junction for Upper Whitestone Farm, he caused Mr Bowden’s death by driving his Mercedes without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.
It alleges he “failed to maintain observation of the carriageway ahead, failed to observe a heavy goods vehicle, then a stationary vehicle parked in a layby, and failed to maintain control” of his Mercedes, causing it to collide with the rear of the parked lorry and to be “projected across the carriageway”, striking the Astra, which was then being driven by a Charisse Zameer.
It is alleged all three vehicles, including the lorry, were damaged and Mr Bowden was “so severely injured that he died”.
The incident, on the southbound side of the dual-carriageway trunk route, occurred just before 1pm on June 12th last year.
Trauma teams, paramedics, firemen from nearby Auchterarder, and an air ambulance, scrambled to the scene, and the southbound carriageway was closed for several hours in the aftermath of the fatality.