Man escapes jail over crash which killed two friends

Jenna Tindall and her partner Marc Edwards were killed in the crash
Jenna Tindall and her partner Marc Edwards were killed in the crash

A MAN has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service after causing a crash near Edinburgh which led to the death of two of his friends as they returned from a holiday together.

Alexander McCabe of Quarryside, Dundee, was also disqualified from driving for two and a half years and to re-sit the driving test.

He pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to causing the death by careless driving of 26-year old Marc Edwards and his partner, 29-year old Jenna Tindall, on July 18 last year, and to injuring two men, Jonathan Walker and Keiron Wilcox.

Sentence had been deferred until Wednesday for reports.

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The court had heard that McCabe, his partner, Nicola Brown, and their seven-year old daughter, had been on a week’s holiday in Lanzarote with their friends and their seven-year old daughter, and were returning home to Dundee from Newcastle Airport. McCabe and Nicola Brown were in the front seats of his Mercedes with their daughter in the back, while Marc Edwards and Jenna Tindall were in the front seats of their Vauxhall Corsa with their daughter in the rear seat.

The Corsa was in front of the Mercedes as they approached the roundabout at the junction of the A68 with the A720 at Millerhill at around 3am.

The Mercedes struck the rear of the Corsa, pushing it into the path of the Vauxhall Vivaro van, being driven in the opposite direction by Mr Walker and his passenger, Keiron Wilcox.

As a result of the collision, Mr Edwards and Ms Tindall were killed and the two men in the van injured, Mr Walker seriously and Mr Wilcox with minor injuries. The two little girls did not require treatment. The Mercedes had been travelling at an average speed of 46mph.

Sentencing McCabe, Sheriff O’Grady told him: “The word ‘tragedy’ is nowadays very much overused, but it is the word that inevitably and justifiably springs to mind when considering these events. The consequences of this offence have been truly horrendous which will live with the families of the deceased, and indeed you, for the rest of their lives”.

McCabe, he said, had not been affected by drink or drugs, had not deliberately driven in some outrageous or reckless fashion nor needlessly courted some obvious danger.

“From what I have been told” he said “you did not do anything or fail to do anything which would obviously leave you unfit to undertake this journey. Indeed, both you and Mr Edwards appear to have behaved identically and I infer both felt fit and able to drive.

The lapse which led to this outcome had been momentary, albeit with a dreadful outcome”. He added that McCabe’s expressions of regret and remorse were genuine and heartfelt and that he would carry the guilt of the incident for the rest of his life.