Driver admits causing death of pensioner in crash

John Mulholland's car struck Robert Hunter while he was crossing a road to buy a paper in Livingston in 2019.

Driver admits causing death of pensioner in crash STV News

A driver has admitted causing the death of a pensioner by knocking him down while he was crossing the road to buy a newspaper.

John Mulholland’s car struck Robert Hunter as he made his way to a service station on Almond West Road, in Livingston, before planning to watch the final weekend of the Six Nations Rugby tournament on March 16, 2019.

Mr Hunter, 70, suffered head and chest injuries following the collision and later died in hospital.

Mulholland, 60, of Broom Walk, Livingston, on Thursday admitted causing the death of Mr Hunter by driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road. He failed to observe and give way for the pedestrian and collided with him.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross told the High Court in Edinburgh that a collision investigation report was prepared and there was no suggestion of excessive speed or erratic manoeuvres before the fatal impact.

The prosecutor said: “Although it was raining at the time of the accident there was no obstruction to the accused who was driving.”

“A sightline analysis confirmed the accused would and should have had a sufficient view of Mr Hunter through his windscreen on his approach to the junction and through the driver’s window to his offside,” she said.

CCTV footage from the nearby Almond West Service Station, which captured the collision, was shown to the court.

Ms Cross said: “On the morning of Saturday, March 16, 2019, the deceased had enjoyed a leisurely morning at home with his wife. It had been his intention to watch the final weekend of the Six Nations Rugby tournament.”

Shortly after noon Mr Hunter set off from his home to walk to the service station to get a paper and cigarettes.

The prosecutor said Mr Hunter stopped at the kerb edge at a junction of Almond West Road with Broom Walk and checked for traffic before walking out onto the road.

Mulholland was driving out of his home street with his nine-year-old grandchild seated in the rear of his Ford when he struck the pedestrian who fell onto the bonnet.

Ms Cross said: “The accused immediately stopped upon impact, but this caused the deceased to fall from the car onto the roadway.”

People at a garage forecourt heard the impact and rushed to help and emergency services were contacted.

Police arrived to find Mr Hunter in the rear of an ambulance in a confused condition. His wife Wendy saw the police vehicle from a window at her home address and arrived at the scene with her daughter.

Ms Cross said that Mr Hunter had a cut to his head and right elbow and was complaining of soreness to his left shoulder. He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Doctors found the victim had sustained a fractured skull with bleeding to the brain. His condition deteriorated as his injuries were being assessed in hospital.

The prosecutor said: “It became apparent that due to the extent of these injuries taken together with his pre-existing medical conditions that he was a non-survivable admission.”

Defence counsel Barry Smith QC said Mulholland was anxious to express his sincere regret for the terrible accident which had such “tragic consequences”.

The judge, Lord Weir, deferred sentence on Mulholland until next month for the preparation of a background report and continued his bail.

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