German man who killed Scots OAP after driving on the wrong side of the road was spared jail time

A leader of a German religious group driving in the UK for the first time caused a fatal crash, killing a grandfather, just hours after picking up a powerful rental car near Glasgow airport, a court heard today.

Tourist Klaus Huber drove his new black BMW 3 Series onto the wrong side of the A85 motorway near Crianlarich, Perthshire, into the path of oncoming vehicles.

Huber, 41, who was driving west, was trying to stop in a parking area on the east side of the road near Loch Lubhair because his 11-year-old son, sitting behind him, was feeling dizzy.

“Without any indication,” he headed straight into the path of an oncoming car, a white Subaru driven by a 73-year-old woman, Mrs. Patti MacKenzie, who had no time to avoid a collision.

A bailiff, who was spared Huber’s jail, said his unfamiliarity with driving in the UK had contributed to the “devastating” crash.

Prosecutor Lauren Staunton told Falkirk Sheriff’s Court that the front of Huber’s BMW had collided with the front of Mrs MacKenzie’s Subaru, causing both vehicles to be thrown into the air.

Mrs MacKenzie, from Helensburgh, was seriously injured and was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

Her husband, 79-year-old Kenny MacKenzie, her front seat passenger, suffered fatal abdominal injuries and, despite being performed CPR by other road users while waiting for an ambulance, died at the scene.

The accident occurred around 12:35 p.m. on July 27, 2019.

Both cars had been in opposite traffic flows to the accident and the court heard that Huber had been traveling at around 50mph and “caused no concern”.

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His wife Jessica, a 34-year-old pharmacist, told police their son was vomiting into a plastic bag, which was full, and they saw the Loch Lubhair picnic spot on the right and were crossing the road to enter the Rest area. when the accident happened.

Mr and Mrs Huber and their two children, a 10-year-old boy and a girl, arrived in Scotland on holiday on July 25, first staying at a hotel near Glasgow airport to ensure Huber was cool. to drive to Inverness via Glencoe. after picking up the rental car.

Huber, from Reisbach, Bavaria, a carpenter by trade, “a pillar of his parish church,” deputy leader of a Christian youth group, and a volunteer firefighter, pleaded guilty to causing Mr. MacKenzie’s death by reckless driving.

Defense attorney Michael Anderson, Attorney at Law, said it had been “a tragic but momentary lapse of concentration from someone driving, for the first time, on the opposite side of the road from where they normally used to drive.”

Anderson said: “Tragically, he was unable to see the oncoming vehicle as it turned into the rest area.”

He said Huber’s sick son in the rear and Huber’s lack of driving experience on the left were factors in the collision.

He added: “Mr Huber and his family had flown the day before for a holiday in Scotland, the purpose of which was to enjoy the scenery and give his children the opportunity to improve their English.

“Mr. Huber is an active member of his local church, which his family attends weekly.

“He has deep faith.

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“He is very sorry.

“He and his wife pray for what happened, and for Mr. MacKenzie’s family, every day.”

Sheriff Derek Hamilton fined Huber £4,000 and imposed a 40-month driving ban, which by law applies only in the UK.

He said that Huber’s unfamiliarity with driving on the left side of the road had played a role, but that he had driven a right-hand drive vehicle, so his view of the road and oncoming traffic would not have been seen hampered.

He told Huber: “This devastating accident was caused by a momentary lapse.

“Your failure was that you didn’t pay attention.”

He said that, under normal circumstances, the appropriate sentence would have been a high rate unpaid work order, but such an order could not be enforced in Germany.

He said the fine “should not be seen as any kind of measure of the value of Mr. MacKenzie’s life.”

Leaving the court, Huber, translated by his wife, said: “We are very sorry.”

Mr. MacKenzie’s daughter, Fiona, watched the court proceedings via live video link from Singapore, where she resides.

His son Roddy, who was in court, later said: “I have nothing to say.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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