Bonnybridge motorist admits hitting cyclist and leaving him with broken back

A BMW driver whose car came off a motorway onto a major roundabout without stopping and collided with a cyclist, breaking his back, is facing jail.
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Stuart Smillie, 43, will be sentenced in January.

The incident occurred about 8.45am on Saturday, June 17 this year, at Keir Roundabout, Dunblane just after Hamish Hutchinson, 42, and a group of cycling friends, left Bridge of Allan to head towards the village of Doune.

After entering the roundabout from the Bridge of Allan road, Mr Hutchinson was signalling to leave at the Doune exit when he was struck by Smillie's BMW 116i Sport which entered the roundabout from the fast lane of the M9 "without stopping".

Smillie admitted the offence when he appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court. Pic: ContributedSmillie admitted the offence when he appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court. Pic: Contributed
Smillie admitted the offence when he appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court. Pic: Contributed
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Despite Mr Hutchinson "immediately taking evasive action", Smillie's car, still doing 15 to 20 miles an hour, went straight into his side.

Mr Hutchinson, a father-of-three, was thrown onto the bonnet, then thrown off again into the road when Smillie braked.

Prosecutor Steven Lynch said: "He sustained a stable fracture to his spine, and heavy cuts and bruises to his arms and legs."

Mr Hutchinson was taken by ambulance to hospital, but avoided being paralysed because the break did not affect his spinal cord.

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At Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday (Wednesday), Smillie, of Norwood Avenue, Bonnybridge, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by careless driving.

Sentence was deferred until January 10 for a background report and an assessment of Smillie's suitability for an electronic tagging and curfew order to restrict his liberty as a possible alternative to prison. Smillie was ordained to appear then.

Sheriff Collins said he was calling for the assessment "for completeness". He said up-to-date information about Mr Hutchinson's present condition would also be required.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Hutchinson, of Bannockburn, said: "I was told in the hospital it was a stable fracture, which means it wasn't interfering with the spinal cord, so I didn't lose any motor functions. I've still got issues in my back."

The road bike he was riding, which he was borrowing from a friend, was written off.