Airborne car on B7078 landed upside down on Peugeot

Lanark Sheriff Court
Lanark Sheriff Court

A young driver took a bend too fast and lost control of his car, hitting a kerb.

And from there, the accident took on new dimensions.

The car became airborne, flew across into the opposing carriageway, landed upside down on the bonnet of another car there, rolled over repeatedly, hit a tree and then caught fire.

Amazingly, Colin Burnside got out of his car unscathed, and from the other car, a passenger later was found to have sustained a wrist fracture needing only a support.

At Lanark Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Burnside’s solicitor told sheriff Derek O’Carroll: “He is grateful that no one suffered from serious injuries. He is aware the consequences could have been much rose. It could have been catastrophic.”

Burnside, now 19, of Abbotsknowe, Lesmahagow, had been charged with dangerous driving after the accident on the B7078 near the junction for Southview in January last year, but on Wednesday his plea to the lesser charge of careless driving was accepted by the crown.

Burnside accepted he had driven at excessive speed for the condition of the road, which was wet, and had lost control.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan said that Burnside had been driving a white Seat south at about 5.40pm, with a Peugeot driven by Ryan Sandilands coming north.

Burnside had been coming out of a slight bend when he lost control, and the car swerved to the offside.

“It struck the offside kerb, causing it to leave the roadway, becoming airborne,” said Mr Hassan.

The car flipped in the air, and crossed onto the other side of the road.

“It landed roof-down on the bonnet of Mr Sandiland’s vehicle. His car then continued to roll for about 50 yards and mounted the grass verge, where it struck a tree and caught fire.

“His vehicle was extensively damaged, with the engine having been flung from it,” added Mr Hassan.

Mr Sandilands and his passenger Charles Sandilands were able to get out of their car, which was also extensively damaged. The front nearside of the car was crushed.

Police and fire services attended, and the police noted that everyone involved was in a state of shock.

Police road safety officers had not attended, something which surprised the sheriff.

“This is not your usual bump and shunt, is it?” he commented.

“It is a horrendous narrative,” Burnside’s solicitor told the court, adding that the teenager had been referred to him as a nice lad from a good family who had made a terrible mistake.

Burnside, who had no previous convictions, had touched the brake to reduce his speed, and the car had struck the kerb, risen and flipped over.

The solicitor asked the sheriff to accept that the consequences had been disproportionate to the level of carelessness involved and to let the teenager keep his licence, which he needed to get from his home in Lesmahagow tohis work in Glasgow.

But the sheriff found that the standard of driving “must have been pretty poor indeed for all this to have happened”.

He fined Burnside £370 and banned him from driving for four months.