Ger­man tourist drove on wrong side of road

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A Ger­man tourist who be­came dis­ori­en­tated af­ter re­vers­ing onto the A86 road, near Moy Lodge, col­lid­ing with an­other car while on the wrong side of the road, has been banned from driv­ing in the UK for eight months.

Matthias Max­i­m­il­ian Hinkel, 30, from Kais­er­slautern, ap­peared at Fort Wil­liam Sher­iff Court last week and pleaded guilty to an amended charge of care­less driv­ing on the A86 on Au­gust 10 last year.

Procu­ra­tor Fis­cal Ross Carvel told the court the col­li­sion oc­curred at 11.30am on the morn­ing of the day in ques­tion.

‘The com­plainer was trav­el­ling at 60mph and tried to avoid a head-on col­li­sion with the ac­cused's ve­hi­cle and drove onto the verge. But this was un­suc­cess­ful and there was a head-on im­pact on the com­plainer's side of the road.'

Mr Carvel added Hinkel was taken to Raig­more Hos­pi­tal, In­ver­ness, with a sus­pected spinal frac­ture but it turned out he was less se­ri­ously in­jured.

Hinkel's girl­friend, how­ever, needed hos­pi­tal treat­ment in in­ten­sive care for a frac­tured spine and ribs and a liver in­jury, plus surgery to stop in­ter­nal bleed­ing.

A man in the com­plainer's car was treated in hos­pi­tal for a frac­tured hip.

The ve­hi­cle's driver and a two-year-old tod­dler who were also in the car were un­in­jured.

De­fence agent Hamish Mel­rose said his client, a 30-year-old elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer who qual­i­fied at Kais­er­slautern Univer­sity last year, had been on hol­i­day and the cou­ple were trav­el­ling in a hired car.

'They pulled off the road onto a forestry trail on the op­po­site side of the road with a view to do­ing a u-turn and head­ing back the way they had come,' said Mr Mel­rose.

‘But there was no area avail­able to do a three-point-turn and he there­fore re­versed out onto the road, but be­came dis­ori­en­tated in his own view and ended up driv­ing on the wrong side of the road.

‘He first re­alised he was on the wrong side when he spot­ted the on­com­ing ve­hi­cle and there was more or less a head-on col­li­sion.

‘He did try to swerve to avoid it but there was in­suf­fi­cient time. Mr Hinkel was in a state of shock af­ter the ac­ci­dent and was found apol­o­gis­ing to the driver of the other ve­hi­cle.' As well as ban­ning him from the road, Sher­iff Eilidh Mac­Don­ald also fined Hinkel £640. ‘This was a very se­ri­ous mat­ter with se­ri­ous con­se­quences,' she said.

‘But I have to be mind­ful of the charge you have pleaded guilty to, which is one of care­less driv­ing.'

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