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Elderly driver caused bus crash after forgetting glasses

Avril Murray, 86, admitted driving carelessly by smashing her Skoda into a double decker.

Perth: Pensioner admitted causing the crash that injured ten.
Perth: Pensioner admitted causing the crash that injured ten.

An elderly driver crashed her car into a double decker bus injuring ten people after forgetting her glasses.

Avril Murray, 86, admitted causing the smash by driving carelessly and smashing her Skoda Roomster into the bus on the A977, at Balado crossroads, during August last year.

Her solicitor praised the driver of the bus for averting a major tragedy as it flew 30 metres across a field.

Murray was banned from driving for a year and ordered to resit her test as well as being fined £500 by Sheriff Kevin Veal.

He said: "The important factor here is public safety. There were no lasting medical problems for passengers on the bus but you have rightly identified there was potential for very serious injury."

Solicitor Douglas Williams, defending, said: "They collided pretty much across the central lane. The car was sent skittling back to the left and the bus ended up in a field.

"It was very skilful driving by the driver to keep it upright and level in the field and the passengers have him to thanks for that."

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte told Perth Sheriff Court the bus had left St Andrews bound for Stirling at 10am on August 5 last year and crashed at Balado crossroads just over an hour into the journey.

She said: "The accused appeared stationary at the crossroads and giving way to the bus, but suddenly and unexpectedly she drove forward in front of the bus.

"That caused the driver to swerve in an attempt to avoid a collision but the front nearside corner of the bus collided with the car."

Ms Whyte said Murray's car flipped over onto its side, while the bus spun off the A977 and crossed a roadside verge before eventually coming to a halt in a field.

"The bus crashed through a perimeter fence and came to a stop approximately 30 metres into the field. An ambulance and the air ambulance were deployed.

"Ten of the bus passengers were injured. The bus was travelling at 50 miles per hour."

They suffered a variety of injuries and Murray told police: "I can't believe it. I'm normally so careful."

Murray, of Cleish, admitted driving carelessly and injuring ten passengers by failing to mount proper observation and give way on August 5.

Mr Williams said: "She is a very fit and active 86-year-old.

"She needs to wear spectacles when she is driving and had not been wearing them at the time, and that might have contributed.

"There is nothing in her health or condition to stop her driving.

"She lives in a very remote location. I would ask the court to consider allowing her to continue driving.

"She simply failed to look right again and then set off to cross the crossroads and the bus collided with her."

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