Dad killed son after car 'split in half' following 137mph crash 

Craig Melville's son, Craig jr, was thrown more than 40 metres in the crash at Alness in March 2021.

Craig Melville killed son on Highland road as car ‘split in half’ after crash at 137mph Police Scotland

A father who killed his son in a crash after driving at 137mph has been jailed for six years.

Craig Melville, 41, lost control of his Audi RS4 after accelerating away from police who had tried to stop him.

His only child Craig junior, 16, died after the car hit a wall with the vehicle splitting in two.

A 15-year-old female passenger was also left with life-changing injuries following the crash on the B9176 near Alness in the Highlands on March 27, 2021.

He had earlier pleaded guilty in Edinburgh to causing the death of his son and serious injury to the girl by dangerous driving.

Lord Fairley told Melville: “While the tragedy is almost unimaginable, you will appreciate that the only sentence that I can appropriately impose is one of imprisonment.

“Aggravating factors are your earlier conviction for speeding in 2020, the very serious injuries suffered by (the girl) and the reasonable inference that, at the time of the crash, you were trying to out run a police vehicle.

“A substantial mitigating factor is that the person killed was a much-loved family member – your only child.

“That is something which will stay with you for the rest of your life.”

Melville, also of Alness, will also be banned from the road for 13 years.

The previous hearing was told how Craig jr was an “adored” son to Melville and his wife.

The teenager often spent time with his father working on cars and had an apprenticeship to train as a mechanic at the time.

The crash happened after Melville offered to take his son, the teenage girl and a woman for a drive after a birthday party.

He ended up on a road known as the Ballachraggan Straight before coming to the attention of police.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard KC said: “The officers formed the view that he was travelling very significantly over the speed limit.

“Their detection device indicated the car was being driven at 137mph.”

Police signalled for Melville to stop – he initially slowed on approach, but then accelerated as he instead passed them.

The woman who was the passenger later described feeling “uncomfortable and scared” as Melville was “definitely driving too fast”.

Police tried to keep up, but lost sight of the Audi.

Just 32 seconds after Melville had passed the officers, he lost control at a right hand bend with fatal consequences.

The motor left the road, hit a stone wall before splitting into two parts.

Craig jr was thrown from the vehicle and was discovered in a field around 40 metres away. He never recovered from his injuries.

The teenage girl was trapped under the rear section of the Audi. She was left needing surgery and physiotherapy after suffering burns, multiple fractures and internal injuries.

The woman in the car was left with cuts and bruises. Melville meantime spent a week in hospital, but scans were unable to detect any injuries.

Neil Wilson, defending, today/yesterday said the tragedy could have “ripped the family apart”, but that relatives – including Melville’s wife – remain “entirely supportive” of him.

He added: “He knows what happened is because he was driving too fast.”

Lord Fairley cut the jail-term from nine years due to the guilty plea.

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