Driver speeding to catch ferry killed woman in crash

William Kennedy, 48, drove on the wrong side of the road and ploughed into a car in which Patricia and Robert McIlwraith were in.

Driver speeding to catch ferry killed woman in crash
Dangerous driving: William Kennedy pleaded guilty.

A driver speeding to catch a ferry killed a woman and seriously injured her husband in a smash.

William Kennedy, 48, drove on the wrong side of the road and ploughed into a car in which Patricia and Robert McIlwraith were in.

Mrs McIlwraith, 49, never survived the crash on the A76 near Ballantrae, Ayrshire, in July 2018.

Mr McIlwraith, 64, was airlifted to hospital. He suffered a broken spine, two punctured lungs and kidney damage.

There had initially been fears he may never walk again.

Kennedy, of Drongan, Ayrshire, was remanded in custody at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The charge also stated Mr McIlwraith was left severely injured and permanently impaired.

The hearing was told Kennedy had made a booking for him and three others to travel on the Cairnryan to Larne ferry on July 7, 2018.

Other motorists clocked him going at “grossly excessive” speeds in his Ford Ranger pick-up.

Prosecutor Greg Farrell stated: “At 2.32pm – three minutes before the collision – Kennedy reached in excess of 100mph.”

The McIlwraiths – married for 28 years and have two daughters – had been returning meantime from a shopping trip to Stranraer.

The couple lived in Colmonell, Ayrshire.

Kennedy ended up on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend before crashing into the McIlwraiths’ oncoming Ford Fusion.

He was said to have been going at 64mph – above the 50mph limit – at the time.

Two passing doctors rushed to help the couple.

A post-mortem revealed Mrs McIlwraith had suffered a fatal chest injury.

Mr McIlwraith spent several months in hospital.

Mr Farrell: “His mobility has been substantially impaired and he needs to use a wheelchair most of the time.

“He has had to move house to one which has been adapted. He will require significant assistance with daily living for the rest of his life.”

Kennedy’s sentence was deferred for reports.