Cyclist loses leg af ter being hit by car at 70mph
a SPOrTS car driver was yesterday found guilty of tearing off a cyclist’s leg as he drove through a housing estate at nearly 70mph. andy MacLeod was thrown around 200ft by the force of the impact when the high- performance Subaru Impreza driven by Graham Douglas, 29, ploughed into him.
as well as losing the limb, Mr MacLeod, 20, suffered a brain injury in the horrific accident on March 8, 2011, in Fort William, Inverness- shire. His l eg was found nearby as he lay uncon-scious, but doctors were unable to reattach it.
Douglas, of Fort William, denied driving dangerously at 67mph through a 30mph area and crashing i nto Mr MacLeod, severely injuring and perma-nently disfiguring him. But a jury at the town’s sheriff court took only 45 minutes to find the father- of-two guilty after seven days of evidence.
Mr MacLeod, also of Fort William, told the court he could remember nothing of the night-time accident, adding that even the few days leading up to it were ‘a blank’.
It was two weeks before he gradually became aware of his surroundings in Glasgow royal Infirmary where he had been taken for treatment.
Mr MacLeod, an adventure tourism student, arrived in court on crutches and, wiping away a solitary tear, he told jurors: ‘The accident changed everything in my life. It has been tough. I lost a year at college and my mum became my carer for a year.’
accident investigator PC Scott Lem-mon, 47, told the court that when he saw the impact damage to the Subaru – buckled bonnet, smashed wind-screen and bent roof – he could hardly believe Mr MacLeod was still alive.
Mr Lemmon, who has investigated 200 fatal and near-fatal accidents, said: ‘I have never seen a car so badly damaged by a victim and he has survived the impact.’
Douglas, a scaffolder, told fiscal ali-son Wylie he was driving at 30mph when he hit Mr MacLeod. He said: ‘I thought I collided with a wheelie bin.’
Defence QC Donald MacLeod said police had estimated the car’s speed from what they said were tyre brake marks on the road, but the QC insisted they were not brake marks.
after the majority guilty verdict, Sheriff noel McPartlin deferred sentence for a background report.
Outside court and accompanied by his mother, Lewis-born Mr MacLeod said: ‘I am pleased with the verdict, that the jury saw the true picture.’
Despite his injuries, he has since climbed Ben nevis and was selected for the Olympic torch relay.
Andy MacLeod: Thrown 200ft
Found guilty: Graham Douglas