The driver of a double-decker bus who knocked down and killed a 70-year-old woman on a pedestrian crossing in the Capital has been disqualified for two years.
He was also placed on a community payback order, to perform 200 hours of unpaid work, on Wednesday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
James Muir, 63, of Granton Medway, pled guilty at the court last month to causing the death of Alena Faltyskova by driving without due care and attention and failing to keep a proper lookout when approaching the pedestrian crossing on Main Street, Davidson’s Mains, on May 14, 2017.
Mrs Faltyskova and her husband of 30 years, were in Edinburgh to celebrate her birthday with her son, his wife and their three daughters, who live in the city. She and her husband had been staying in another house nearby and on the morning after the birthday party, they were going to church when Mrs Faltyskova told her husband she was going to get some flowers for the people who had let them stay in their house for their visit.
As she went over the pedestrian crossing she was struck by a number 41 Lothian Bus, being driven by Muir and killed instantly.
Sentence was deferred until October 24 for reports and defence solicitor Graeme Runcie told Sheriff Frank Crowe that the accident had had a devastating effect on his client.
Muir, he said, had been driving for 29 years without a single endorsement: “It has had a material impact on him and he appreciates and recognises the impact on the family of the deceased.”
Muir, he added, was undergoing counselling and was now unemployed after spending his life as a driver.
Sheriff Crowe told Muir: “The inboard camera on your bus showed you were driving at normal speed and, as you approached the mini roundabout, she [Alena Faltyskova] could clearly be seen walking towards the pedestrian crossing at a normal walking pace. You entered the roundabout and Mrs Faltyskova was several steps onto the crossing. Your bus did not seem to be stopping and she broke into a run and was struck by the front offside wheel, suffering catastrophic injuries and died at the spot. The bus came to a halt some feet after the incident.”
The Sheriff added that there was no question of excessive speed, drink, falling asleep or erratic driving.
He said: “The only explanation is you failed to keep a proper lookout for other road users”.
Sheriff Crowe added: “I have read your letter about your feelings of the incident, both for yourself and Mrs Faltyskova’s family. It was a great tragedy and the suddenness must have come as a great shock to the family.”
Sheriff Crowe said he was sending the letter to the family.
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