Driver who caused death of friend by dangerous driving in Bonnybridge road accident jailed for 42 months

Flowers left at the scene of the accident on the A803 Bonnybridge-Falkirk road. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Flowers left at the scene of the accident on the A803 Bonnybridge-Falkirk road. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A boy racer who killed a friend in a horror car crash was today jailed for 42 months.

Allister Douglas (22), who had only passed his test two months earlier, was tail-gaiting another friend’s car at excessive speed when he lost control on a bend and smashed into an oncoming vehicle on the A803 Falkirk-Bonnybridge road on November 17, 2013.

Mr Douglas and Mr McMillan had been friends since primary school. He is remorseful and is sensitive to the distress he he has caused Mr McMillan’s family

Martin Morrow, defending

Police experts estimated the maximum speed the corner could be taken without losing control was 72 mph.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Douglas, from Bonnybridge, admitted causing the death of Mark McMillan by driving dangerously.

The court heard that Mr McMillan (20), from Falkirk, was the front seat passenger in the blue Renault Clio driven by Douglas.

Sentencing Douglas, judge Lord Turnbull said: “I accept, of course, as you set out on November 17, 2013, you had no intention of deliberately causing harm far less death to anyone.

“However, anyone who drives must take responsibilty if they chose to drive in a reckless or dangerous manner. The manner in which you drove that day was a deliberate choice. You drove without any regard to innocent road users. You drove at excessive speed and extremely close to the car in front.

Lord Turnbull ordered Douglas, who he described as “an inexperienced driver” to be banned from driving for five years.

The judge said the sentence he was imposing “can not relieve the anguish of the McMillan family of the loss of a much loved son and brother.”

At an earlier court hearing, co-accused Aidan Kilty (20), who was driving the car in front of Douglas, admitted careless driving and was fined £500 and banned from driving for a year.

Advocate depute Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: “Both accused knew each other and had departed from the same house prior to the accident.

“The accused Douglas was following the vehicle which was being driven by Kilty.

“Both vehicles were travelling at excessive speed. Douglas was following Kilty at an unsafe distance.”

At around 1.35 p.m. on the day of the accident, as the cars reached a bend in the road, near Bonnybridge Power Station, Kilty momentarily lost control and straddled the white lines in the centre of the road.

Douglas, who was extremely close, lost control of his car and spun into the path of an oncoming Nissan Pixo driven by Karen Brown.

Miss Brown told investigators that she saw the accused cars coming towards her at speed. She thought they were driving too fast and that Douglas’ car was travelling too close to the one in front.

She said Kilty’s car partially entered her lane before returning to its own lane. She was then immediately confronted “side on” by Douglas’ vehicle and had no time to react.

Douglas suffered a skull fracture, a punctured lung, a fractured pelvis and had to have operations to rebuild his pelvis.

Miss Brown suffered cuts to her thighs from her seat belt.

Mr McMillan suffered blunt force trauma injuries to his head and trunk and internal injuries and died at the scene.

Solicitor advocate Martin Morrow, defending Douglas, said: “Mr Douglas and Mr McMillan had been friends since primary school. He is remorseful and is sensitive to the distress he has caused Mr McMillan’s family.

“He goes to visit his friend’s grave, but does so at anti-social times to ensure he doesn’t intrude into the family’s grief.”