A TAXI driver who knocked down and killed a pensioner ‘he did not see’ on a zebra crossing has been banned from driving for more than three years.
Clark Munro, 46, was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service after admitting causing the death of Ian McCance on January 26 last year.
Munro’s taxi hit 74-year-old Mr McCance in the early hours of the morning as the pensioner was half way across the crossing on Marchmont Road.
The court heard there was “no satisfactory explanation” for Munro failing to see Mr McCance.
Mr McCance, an accountant, was returning home after addressing The Haggis at a Burns’ Supper at the time of the crash.
Fiscal Depute, Mina Poppius, told the court Munro had three passengers in the back of the cab when “he felt the taxi shudder, turned round and asked them if they had seen anything”.
The passengers said there was a man lying on the road at the pedestrian crossing. Munro asked them to contact the police and wait for the officers to arrive and got out of the taxi.
Defence solicitor, Paul Smith, said his client who lives at Quarryfoot Green, Bonnyrigg, had been traumatised by the accident and was on anti-depressants.
“He said he will never drive a taxi again,” said the solicitor.
Mr Smith said visibility had been good, the road was dry, and the taxi had been travelling at 28mph.
Munro had not been in conversation with his passengers. the radio was off and police examination showed Munro’s mobile had not been used.
Sheriff Frank Crowe said the accident was due to the inattention of Munro.
“He seems to have had a clear view of the crossing and ample time to avoid the pedestrian.
He added: “The accused had ample time to stop. There were no skid marks which showed the accused had failed to apply emergency braking.
“The accused failed to observe Mr McCance as a result of a distraction or tiredness.”
The Sheriff said that because of the death of Mr McCance his accountancy firm had been wound up resulting in one of his three sons losing his job and the home of one of the family members had to be given up.
“No satisfactory explanation has been given for his failure to see and react to Mr McCance on the crossing. He was not keeping a proper look-out”.
The maximum penalty for the offence, said Sheriff Crowe, was five years imprisonment, but he took into account Munro’s early guilty plea, his lack of any previous convictions and that he had stopped immediately and co-operated with the authorities.