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Drug driver who swerved onto wrong side of the road after his glasses fell off killed cyclist

Colin McCourt was riding home from work at HMNB Clyde when Scott MacKinnon hit him head-on

A drug driver who was trying to retrieve his glasses after they fell off swerved onto the wrong side of the road and killed a cyclist after hitting him head-on.

Colin McCourt, aged 40, died at the scene of the crash on the A410 Cardross Road, Argyll & Bute, on 10 November 2020, reports the Daily Record.

Appearing at the High Court in Glasgow, Scott MacKinnon, 47, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard that MacKinnon, from Helensburgh, was driving his Volkswagen Golf despite tests after the crash finding six separate drugs in his system, including methadone, morphine and Valium.

Mr McCourt, from Dumbarton, was cycling home from his work as a mechanical engineer at HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, and according to Neil McCulloch, prosecuting, would have been “highly visible” to other road users when he was hit by MacKinnon’s vehicle.

“Colin McCourt travelled over the bonnet of the Volkswagen then striking the windscreen,” Mr McCulloch said.

“He was thrown onto the top of a hedge before coming to rest on a footpath by the side of the road.”

MacKinnon then struck another vehicle before his car came to a rest on its roof, with the prosecutor saying that there was “no evidence that he applied the brakes in an attempt to slow the vehicle prior to colliding with Colin McCourt.”

Mr McCourt, who had a son with his partner, sustained serious injuries to his head and chest, as well as multiple fractures to his legs, and passed away at the scene despite the efforts of other drivers to assist him.

Eyewitnesses told police that MacKinnon, who had said he was “fine” when he got out of his car, appeared to be “under the influence.”

He told one police officer: “My glasses are too loose, so I had [hair] bobbles holding them on. They must have fell off my face.”

While he was being taken to the police station, he repeatedly fell asleep, and his speech was said to be “slurred” and “incoherent.”

Defending MacKinnon, Janice Green said: “His position is that the glasses fell from his face at the point the car swerved. He bent down to pick them up.

“Glasses were later found in the footwell of the car and there were hair bobbles around the legs.”

The court heard that MacKinnon had four prior convictions for road traffic offences, including driving while unlicensed and driving while uninsured.

Judge Alison Stirling refused a request from Ms Green for her client to remain on bail pending sentencing later this month, telling MacKinnon: “I will revoke your bail and you will be remanded.”

Mr McCourt’s family released a statement via Digby Brown Solicitors in which they expressed hope that the eventual sentence handed down to MacKinnon would act as a deterrent to others.

“The loss of Colin is something we will never truly come to terms with,” they said.

“He was a very special person to all who knew and loved him and we miss him every day.

“This conviction is welcome and we now hope the sentencing will reflect our trauma and loss while also serving us an example to make our roads safer because we don’t want other families to ever experience something like this.

“We’d like to thank loved ones, friends, those who shared happy memories of Colin with us and the wider community for their support but now request our privacy is respected as we try to move forwards,” they added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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