A learner driver caused his friend’s death when he ploughed his car into a wall on the A9.
Stuart McCulloch got behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit before causing the smash that killed his 23-year-old friend Michael Cameron.
McCulloch, 28, was found around 100ft from the crash site and claimed to police that he was not driving, although no one else was found nearby.
The driver had a provisional licence at the time of the crash on the A9 Inverness to Thurso road. He was found to have 102mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, compared to the legal limit of 80mg.
McCulloch of Claylock, Halkirk, Caithness, pleded guilty to causing Mr Cameron's death by driving carelessly while unfit because of drink on February 26 last year.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard on Tuesday that McCulloch smashed the Vauxhall Astra collided into a stone building and dry stone dyke at Achalone near Spittal in Caithness.
When later interviewed by police, he said he remembered drinking in a night-club then nothing more until he woke up in hospital. But he agreed that a pair of trainers found in the driver's foot-well were his.
Crash investigators found debris scattered over both sides of the road and the car engine and bonnet torn off. They said the Astra was driving "at speed" but could not establish how fast.
The investigators also said that after the crash the driver probably opened his door, rather than being flung from the wreck.
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