'Erratic' West Lothian driver left woman in hospital after head-on A71 smash near Dalmahoy

A driver smashed his car head-on into a fellow motorist as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 3:58 pm
Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Graeme Smith was spotted driving erratically near to Dalmahoy golf course on the outskirts of Edinburgh when he lost control of his VW Polo.

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Smith then crashed head-on into a red Mazda coming the other way which resulted in the female driver being rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment to her injuries. Smith was unharmed.

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Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told Smith had also knocked down a man near to the Capital’s Wester Hailes shopping centre the day before.

The 33-year-old motorist had also twice collided with a vehicle as he travelled along the A71, again near to Dalmahoy.

Smith, of Armadale in West Lothian, admitted two charges of dangerous driving when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Fiscal depute Rosie Cook said Smith was driving his silver VW Polo at around 1.35pm on June 22.

Ms Cook said Smith was spotted “driving erratically” on the A71 prior to the smash with the Mazda.

The fiscal said motorists travelling behind Smith watched on as he seemed to lose control of his car on several occasions and clip the side verge.

Ms Cook said Smith’s car was “halfway on the verge” before eventually crossing over on to the wrong side of the road.

The fiscal added: “A red Mazda was coming in the opposite direction. The female driver was negotiating a left hand bend and became aware of the accused’s vehicle on her side of the carriageway.

“The accused failed to slow down and change its course causing the driver to brake before a head-on collision occurred.

“The woman was initially trapped in her car and members of the public assisted to get her out.”

The woman suffered pains in her chest and neck and had to stay overnight at the ERI for treatment.

The court also heard on June 21 this year Smith had collided with a car after tailgating the vehicle on the A71.

He stopped and spoke to the driver before driving off and headed towards the nearby Westside Plaza.

An off-duty police officer watched on as Smith attempted a manoeuvre near to the Edinburgh shopping centre.

Ms Cook said: “While performing the turn the accused mounted the pavement and collided with a 61-year-old man, a pedestrian on the pavement.”

The man fell to the ground but fortunately only suffered from bruising to his legs.

Defence lawyer Graeme Clark said his client had carried out “two very bad pieces of driving” and that he had not driven since as the DVLA had revoked his licence.

Sheriff Peter McCormack placed Smith on an interim driving ban and deferred full sentence to next month.

Smith admitted driving dangerously at the A71 Livingston bypass and at Westside Plaza, Edinburgh, on June 21 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to driving dangerously and colliding with a vehicle at the A71 the following day.