Butcher ordered to take driving lesson after car smash

Butcher Alexander Crombie has no recollection of the crash in March
Butcher Alexander Crombie has no recollection of the crash in March
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A RENOWNED city butcher has been ordered to take a driving lesson after causing a crash which made a woman’s hair fall out.

Alexander Crombie, whose family owns Crombie’s of Edinburgh, based in Broughton Street, was driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit a pedestrian before ploughing head-first into an oncoming car.

One of the victims of the smash, Denise McMonaigle, suffered hair loss as a consequence, a court was told.

Lawyers for the 72-year-old butcher, who apologised for the accident, said he had no recollection of the collision.

Crombie, of Claremont Road, Edinburgh, admitted driving carelessly and in the wrong lane in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, on March 18. He admitted hitting pedestrian Stuart Higgins and a car occupied by Kevin, 31, and Denise McMonaigle, 30.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis ordered the pensioner to take a lesson with a driving instructor so his general fitness to drive could be assessed before sentencing.

During the hearing at Perth Sheriff Court, fiscal depute Robbie Brown said: “One person was clipped by the vehicle as it went past. The other vehicle had nowhere to go. They tried to slow down but there was a head-on collision with the accused on the wrong side of the road.

“It’s not known why he was on the wrong side of the road. The only explanation offered at the time was that he had been dazzled by the sun. He had simply kept going.

“Mr McMonaigle had whiplash injuries and potential kidney damage. Mrs McMonaigle had whiplash, a chipped bone in her thumb possible requiring surgery, and breathing difficulties because of a possible hairline chest fracture. She had stress-related ailments subsequently, one of which was alopecia.”

Solicitor Harry Boyle, for Crombie, said: “He apologises very much. He has been driving since he was 17 and now he is 72. He left his holiday home in Blair Atholl that morning and went for a drive.

“His last recollection is that he was driving southbound on the main road in the correct carriageway. He has no recollection between that point and his airbag deploying.”

Mr Boyle told the court that Crombie had seen his doctor to establish if he had any relevant medical condition and had stopped driving until the outcome of those tests.

Sheriff Foulis said: “He looks a pretty hale and hearty 72-year-old, but when one has an accident that is unexplained, we have to look at other issues to make sure everything is all right.”

He deferred sentence until July 18 for Crombie to have a driving lesson to ascertain his ability to drive and for a report to be prepared for the court.