A motorist who fell asleep at the wheel – narrowly avoiding a crash with an oncoming vehicle – has been told he is lucky no one died.
A Suzuki Swift travelling on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with 56-year-old Gary Watt’s car near Keith.
The Lhanbryde resident yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court.
Fiscal Alex Swain explained Watt’s car drifted into the opposing carriageway near Tarnash Farm at about 3.30pm on May 19 last year.
She added: “The driver coming the opposite direction saw the accused’s car drifting and attempted to veer off the road – he thought they were going to have a head-on collision.
“The collision caused the other car to spin before mounting a verge. The accused’s car continued and collided with a tree.”
Witnesses rushed to both vehicles in an attempt to provide help before paramedics arrived.
Watt required hospital treatment for a cracked breastbone and also had pain suspected to be caused by the seatbelt. The couple in the other car were not injured.
Defence solicitor Ben Thom explained his client had felt “drowsy” at the time due to new medication he was taking.
He added: “He considers himself lucky the consequences were not worse. He knows he should have stopped when he felt like that and didn’t, it was clearly dangerous in the circumstances.”
Sheriff Robert MacDonald said: “It’s very fortunate that you or anybody else were not seriously injured or killed.”
Watt, of Burnside Road, in Lhanbryde, was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £1,000.