Teenage driver crashed into tree on straight road

Pierce McMahon.Picture: ''Vic Rodrick

Pierce McMahon.Picture: ''Vic Rodrick

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A TEENAGE driver smashed into a tree after losing control of his car on a straight road.

Pierce McMahon broke his leg in the crash and wrecked his black 2010 Renault Clio.

Traffic police who investigated the accident reported that the needle on the car’s speedometer was stuck at 77mph – the speed he is believed to have been doing at the time of the crash.

McMahon, 19, a self-employed kitchen fitter, was charged with driving dangerously in his 1.6 litre 127BHP motor on the A89 near Broxburn on New Year’s Day last year.

But on the day of his trial at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention and failing to give due consideration to other road users.

Catherine Knowles, prosecuting, said McMahon narrowly missed a lamppost and a mobile phone mast before crashing head-on into the tree. He was flung from the car before the collision and ended up lying 20 feet away on the grass.

Mrs Knowles added: “Police saw the speedometer was stuck. This confirmed to them that the impact speed was 77mph. George Donnelly, defending, said McMahon, of Woodlands Park, Livingston, had no previous convictions. He added: “This is a matter he takes seriously. He wasn’t a boy racer. He wasn’t a joyrider. He was simply someone who lost control.”

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch fined McMahon £450 and banned him from driving for 162 days.

He told the teenager: “It was a pretty high speed and the stretch of road where you lost control appears to be quite straight so there’s really no obvious reason why you should have lost control that night. You suggested it was because you hit a drain which was sunken to some extent but I can’t see that a relatively careful driver would have lost control so I have to regard this as a bad case of careless driving.

“The consequences, which were bad enough, could have been much worse had a car been coming the opposite way.”