Motorist, 94, denies causing death of woman on Highland road

A 94-year-old woman has denied causing the death of a cyclist by driving dangerously.

It is alleged that Alice Ross drove onto the wrong side of a road, mounted a verge, drove along a pavement and hit a couple who were holidaying in Scotland to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

Elaine Dunne, 30, from Glenfield, Leicester, had been standing with husband Christopher and their bikes when she was killed.

Mr Dunne was severely injured, but survived.

The couple had been on a week-long camping holiday and were cycling back to Wick to catch a train home at the time.

Ms Ross was excused attendance at Wednesday’s brief hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh but defence QC Ian Duguid said she pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The lawyer also told judge Lord Bannatyne that Ms Ross of Westend, Lybster, blamed a medical condition for what happened on the A99 Wick to John O'Groats road on September 21, 2011.

The smash happened near Croft House, Auckengill, by Keiss, Caithness.

Ms Ross has a special defence of automatism. The document lodged in court claims she was unconscious at the time due to a medical condition which was “not foreseeable”.

Mr Duguid said investigations were continuing, involving a consultant neurologist and consultant cardiologist.

He asked for more time to continue preparations before a trial date is fixed.

The case is due to return to court in April and Ms Ross has again been excused attendance.

"She is 94 years of age. She lives in Caithness and the difficulties for her in travelling to the court are substantial," said the lawyer.

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