Pensioner ‘somersaulted’ into air in Coalburn car accident

Lanark Sheriff Court
Lanark Sheriff Court

A pensioner told a court that he “somersaulted” into the air, then landed on his head after being struck by a car as he crossed a road in Coalburn.

The court also heard that the driver responsible, Alastair Campbell, had “cut the corner” at speed.

Campbell helped 65-year-old James Adam up, checked he was all right, then drove off. It was Mr Adam’s daughter who contacted the police, and they, in turn, called an ambulance to take him to hospital.

At Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday, Campbell, 32, was fined £400 and ordered to pay the pensioner £250 compensation after being convicted of careless driving.

Mr Adam, who walks with a stick and was allowed to give evidence sitting down, told the court that at about 5.30pm on November 10 he was walking from his home in Bellfield Road to his daughter’s house in the same street.

He was crossing Beechmount Avenue, about three-quarters of the way there, when he noticed lights coming towards him fast.

A car turning right from Bellfield Road into Beechmont Avenue, seemed to get faster coming round the corner.

Mr Adam sensed danger and turned his back to the car, afraid of being knocked down and dragged under it legs first.

“I thought it was someone having a carry-on with me,” he said. “The next thing, they thumped my back, and I somersaulted.

“I went up in the air, and my head hit off the road. I landed on my head. All I could see was stars.”

Mr Adam told the court that afterwards “the driver got out and took my hand and pulled me to the kerb, and then he went away”. Campbell had said something about being unable to see because of some light, he said.

At hospital afterwards suffering back and head pain, Mr Adam had X-rays and was given morphine patches and tablets.

He denied a suggestion by Campbell’s solicitor that instead of being hit, he had jumped out the way of the car.

Lewis Meikle, 19, was driving behind Campbell and witnessed the accident.

“I saw Jimmy crossing the road,” he told the court. “He was halfway across the road, and I saw the car cutting the corner and putting him up in the air.”

He said that Campbell had pulled out in front of him at a bus stop, then cut the corner going “faster than he should have been”.

“The impact put him on the ground. I slammed on the brakes, and he was lying on the ground,” said the teenager.

Miss McNulty questioned Mr Meikle’s version of events.

In a statement to police, Mr Meikle had told them: “I saw Jimmy jump up in the air as if he was trying to avoid getting hit,” but in court he said that there had been an impact and that Mr Adam had been hit.

Campbell, of Beechmount Avenue, claimed in court that he had been doing a maximum of 15mph after turning in the bus stop in Bellfield Road.

He said he had been dazzled by the lights of the car behind him and he had only seen Mr Adam at the last minute and braked.

He insisted there had been no impact and that Mr Adam had fallen.

“He fell down on all fours and then rolled on to his side,” said Campbell.

He said he had helped him up and made sure he was OK, and the pensioner had walked away.

Sheriff Vincent Smith convicted Campbell, however.