Speeding driver fined £300 after motorist dies in crash
Arran MacRae pleaded guilty to dangerous driving shortly before the death of Angus Plowman.
A motorist who was driving dangerously moments before another driver lost his life has been fined £300.
Arran MacRae, 21, had been accused of causing Angus Plowman's death by colliding with his car on the A832 road near Avoch on the Black Isle in the Highlands in January 2016.
Following a legal debate during a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, the Crown accepted a guilty plea to a lesser charge of driving dangerously at excessive speed and too close to the rear of Mr Plowman's vehicle.
During earlier proceedings, the court heard how MacRae, who was aged 19 at the time of the incident, was travelling with his girlfriend from Avoch to Tain on the day of the collision.
The apprentice decorator said two vehicles were initially ahead of him, a black VW Golf being driven by Mr Plowman, 20, from Fortrose and a pickup truck.
On a straight section of the road, Mr Plowman's Golf overtook the pickup and MacRae followed in his Renault a few seconds later.
MacRae told the court he was travelling at about 70mph and that he was "a car and half length" behind the Golf - far closer than the recommended stopping distance of 96m (315ft) at that speed.
He denied he had chased or pursued the other driver and said he did not believe he was tailgating the other car.
According to the accused, Mr Plowman applied his brakes after overtaking the pickup.
MacRae said he was changing lanes to avoid the car in front when he control of his car, which came off the road and crashed into a wall.
Mr Plowman's car also crashed at the scene. He was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness where he died from his injuries.
MacRae said he did not think his vehicle had hit Mr Plowman's car.
On Wednesday at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Glennie fined MacRae £300 and banned him from driving for 18 months.
Passing sentence, Lord Glennie told MacRae: "Your driving was well below the applicable and acceptable standard of driving which is required on the road. Your speed was in excess of the limit for the road.
"What happened was a tragedy but there is no evidence that your driving caused the death of Mr Plowman."