Lothian bus driver admits killing woman as she crossed road

A Lothian bus driver has admitting killing a pensioner after she was struck at a pedestrian crossing.

Alena Faltyskova, from the Czech Republic, was visiting Edinburgh with her family to celebrate her 70th birthday when she was hit by a double-decker bus on Main Street, Davidson Mains.

Muir was driving a number 41 Lothian Bus. Picture: TSPL

Muir was driving a number 41 Lothian Bus. Picture: TSPL

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, 63-year-old driver James Muir pled guilty to causing her death in May last year by driving without due care and attention.

Fiscal Depute Ian Gray of the Road Traffic Fatalities Investigation Unit told Sheriff Frank Crowe that the woman and her husband of 30 years were in Edinburgh to celebrate her 70th birthday with her son, his wife and their two daughters, who live in the city.

She and her husband had been staying in another house nearby and, on the morning after the birthday party, they were going to the local supermarket to buy a few items before going to church.

They had crossed over the pedestrian crossing when she told her husband she had to go back with flowers for the people who had let them have the house for their visit.

Mr Gray said the woman left her husband and walked the short distance onto the Zebra crossing.

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The number 41 bus, being driven by Muir, approached the crossing from Quality Street said Mr Gray, failed to stop, and collided with the woman.

He said: “A man and his son, were sitting at the front window of the upper deck and the man said he thought the bus was going to stop, but it just kept going and the deceased was lost to his vision”.

Another pedestrian saw the woman on the crossing about 100 metres away and when he was 20 metres away realised the woman had been hit by the bus.

The Fiscal said the woman suffered catastrophic injuries and there was no pulse.

When the police spoke to the driver, Mr Gray said he told them: “I just saw her at the last minute. That was it”.

“He was upset and crying” said the Fiscal.

Defence solicitor, Graeme Runcie, said Muir had told him to plead guilty.

“He accepted responsibility and did not want the family to have any further difficulties”. The accident had had a significant effect on his client, he said, He had been driving for 30 years with a clean licence. “This was a tragic, isolated incident, both for the family of the deceased and the family of the accused”.

Sheriff Crowe deferred sentence until October 24 for background reports, noting that Muir had an unblemished driving record.

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