Aristocrat, 77, ‘caused pile-up on way to gym’
A 77-YEAR-OLD aristocrat caused a spectacular three-vehicle smash after driving dangerously on the way to the gym, a court heard yesterday.
Lady Susan Zetland is accused of ignoring signs and cones showing a right turn was forbidden at a junction and pulling into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Her £30,000 Subaru 4x4 was struck by a Nissan Qashqai, which spun her across into the other carriageway on the A66 trans-Pennine trunk road, where her vehicle was hit by a lorry.
Lady Zetland lives close to the junction where the collision happened, at Aske Hall in North Yorkshire, the family seat of her husband Lord Mark Dundas, 79, the fourth Marquess of Zetland.
She miraculously escaped serious injury and admitted to police that she had not been driving as carefully as she should, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Recalling her actions in court yesterday, Lady Zetland said the period leading up to the crash ‘all becomes a bit fuzzy’ in her memory. She said a pick-up truck ahead of her went through a gap in the cones and ‘perhaps I just followed’.
The aristocrat added: ‘You just do follow other vehicles, don’t you?’
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said: ‘It might have been better to make your own judgment?’ She replied: ‘Many things might have been better on reflection.’
Lady Zetland, who denies dangerous driving, was heading to a local hotel gym at 6am on July 4 last year. During the short journey she passed four signs warning that the junction was closed.
The case continues.
‘Ignored signs’: Lady Zetland yesterday