OAP whose car hit three school pupils in Musselburgh blamed 'faulty brakes'
A PENSIONER who collided with three schoolchildren as they crossed a busy road outside a high school has escaped a road ban.
Ian Steedman, 73, had just collected two children from outside Musselburgh Grammar school when he lost control of his car and ploughed into the three teenage pupils.
Steedman, from Tranent, , believed his brakes had failed causing him to strike the school kids but tests carried out later on his Honda Civic showed no problems with the braking system.The grandfather, who owns a popular electronic appliance store, later realised he had got his foot stuck under the brake pedal causing him to lose control of the car last November.Steedman had initially pleaded guilty to dangerous driving last month but changed his plea after seeking legal advice.The OAP appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and admitted an amended charge of careless driving by driving through a red light and colliding with three children and a vehicle in Musselburgh, on November 7 last year.Procurator fiscal depute Nicole Lavelle told the court Steedman had collected a young relative and a friend from outside the school at around 3.50pm before making his way onto the town’s Inveresk Road.Ms Lavelle said: “As the accused drove he became aware he could not stop his vehicle and he consequently drove onto the opposite carriageway to avoid two vehicles which had stopped at a red light.“As the 15-year-old boy passed halfway across the crossing he was struck by the accused‘s vehicle lifting him up on to the bonnet. The vehicle also delivered a glancing blow to two others.“The accused’s vehicle continued through the crossing and collided with the front near side of a car.”The fiscal said two of the school pupils which were struck were 15-years-old and the third was 16-years-old.Ms Lavelle added the boy who landed on the bonnet of Steedman’s car received a large gash to his upper leg after he “ended up between the two vehicles” when they collided.Ms Lavelle said the boy then landed on the roadway and rushed taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment and where he spent the night.Steedman subsequently had his eyes tested by police officers and the court heard he had provided a negative breath test following the incident.Defending solicitor Mary Moultrie said her client had taken “evasive action by pulling onto the opposite carriageway” after realising he could not brake in time.Ms Moultrie added Steedman “believed his brakes and failed” at the time of the collision but afterwards realised he “must have put his foot under the brake pedal”.She said Steedman had a clean driving licence for the past 57 years and had been driving at a “very low speed” when he struck the three children.Ms Moultrie added: “This a genuine one-off, isolated incident that is very regrettable.”Sheriff Peter McCormack agreed and sentenced Steedman to a £400 fine and placed six penalty points on his driving licence.