Gran killed in crash on way to celebrate Mother’s Day

Damian Gulczynski was attempting a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre when he hit his victim head-on.

Gran killed in crash on way to celebrate Mother’s Day
Crash: Julia Grierson died.

A driver has admitted killing a 70-year-old gran in a head-on crash as he attempted to overtake a line of six cars.

Damian Gulczynski, 27, from Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Julia Grierson – who was known as Margaret – by dangerous driving when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow.

Mrs Grierson was on her way to celebrate Mother’s Day with her daughter when her car was hit.

She died at the scene on the A702 Edinburgh to Abington road near to Wandel on March 10, 2018.

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Prosecutor Blair Speed said: “Mrs Grierson was travelling to her daughter Jill Cuthbertson’s home for a birthday celebration as well as Mother’s Day.”

The court heard that Mrs Grierson was driving her Kia Rio car northbound and at 1.33pm she began negotiating a right hand bend.

As she did so she was hit head-on by Gulczynski’s Vauxhall Astra. The impact caused the Kia Rio’s engine to be separated from the rest of the car.

Mr Speed told the court: “The accused was in the course of overtaking a line of approximately six cars on an incline towards a blind summit and a bend.

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“It was impossible to see round the bend and the drivers who were being overtaken were shocked that the accused was attempting such a manoeuvre.

“His vehicle had just drawn level with the rear of a tanker that was at the front of the line of traffic at the point when the collision with Mrs Grierson’s vehicle occurred.”

After the crash both the Kia and the Astra rotated though 180 degrees and Mrs Grierson’s car came to rest against a crash barrier, while Gulczynski’s car collided with another car.

A doctor on holiday from Brazil, who arrived at the scene of the collision, went to Mrs Grierson’s aid, but noted she had no signs of life. Paramedics pronounced her dead at 2.18pm.

The court heard that she worked at an optician practice in Castle Douglas for 25 years.

The accused, who worked as a land surveyor, was airlifted by helicopter to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. He had injuries to his pelvic area, a fractured right elbow and had to undergo surgery.

The cause of Mrs Grierson’s death was head and neck injuries due to a road traffic collision.

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She is survived by her son Mark and daughter Jill, two grandchildren and her brother and sister.

The court heard that Gulczynski, a first offender, has not driven since the crash.

Solicitor advocate Richard Freeman said: “He wants to apologise to the family of Mrs Grierson for the loss and pain he has caused them. He says he is heartfelt sorry.

“The knowledge that he is responsible for taking someone life has had a profound effect on him.”

Judge Lady Stacey remanded Gulczynski in custody and deferred sentence for background reports until later this month.