A driver who killed an Oban mother-of-three in a head-on crash escaped a jail sentence yesterday.
Christopher Taylor, 30, who caused the horror smash in which 56-year-old Yvonne Shann died after he pulled out to overtake another car, was instead ordered to perform 300 hours unpaid work in the community as a direct alternative to prison.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that the accident took place at a country road near Oban, Argyllshire, on December 30, 2015.
He was originally charged with causing Mrs Shann’s death by dangerous driving, but a jury convicted him of the reduced charge of causing death by careless driving.
Judge Lord Beckett told Taylor: “A middle-aged woman who was driving safely and responsibly died in a head-on collision which you caused.
“Her family are left to grieve and her husband and three sons are still struggling to come to terms with it.”
The judge said that there was no suggestion that there was anything wrong with the first offender’s driving until he pulled out to overtake.
Lord Beckett said to Taylor: “I am satisfied your remorse is genuine.”
He banned Taylor from driving for 22 months and warned him if he did not carry out the unpaid work he could be jailed.
Mrs Shann had to be cut free from her Citroen, but never recovered from her injuries. She died more than a week later in hospital.
The fatal crash took place on the rural A816 Lochgilphead to Oban road.
Taylor, of Rothesay, Isle of Bute, had a young child in his Peugeot at the time.
The crash happened at night on the “twisty and windy” road.
Jurors heard that a driver in front of Taylor “knew something was going to happen” when he pulled out to overtake him.
This motorist feared the worst and “held his steering wheel a lot tighter” as Taylor smashed into Mrs Shann’s car.
The court was told the crash happened in a “split second” and that “the noise was terrible”.
The court heard that Mrs Shann could not have done anything to avoid being hit.
She died on January 11 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Taylor, who stayed in Ardrishaig, Argyll at the time, accepted being responsible for the accident.
His defence counsel Dale Hughes said: “Mr Taylor has expressed regret and guilt.”