A Scots drunk driver who crashed into a rickshaw taxi leaving the driver with horrific injuries – including losing his foot – has been jailed.
Matthew Mackay, 26, had been drinking in an Edinburgh cocktail bar before jumping into his powerful Audi and driving the short distance to his home in May last year.
Mackay lost control of his vehicle and ploughed into the back of the rickshaw throwing the driver and two passengers out of the carriage and into the middle of the city’s West Approach Road.
Rickshaw driver Enrique Rodriguez-Amores had his left foot amputated as well as suffering a fractured skull, fractured spine, bleeding on the brain, a broken right ankle and internal injuries.
Passenger Torquil Edwardson, 29, was rushed to hospital for treatment to a fractured spine, broken ribs and lacerations to his liver and scalp.
While his younger sister Inga Edwardson also suffered severe injuries including a fractured pelvis and breaks to her ribs and toe.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told the rickshaw was “propelled 40 meters from the point of impact” and following the collision witnesses saw Mackay running away from the wreckage.
Police traced him to his nearby flat around an hour later where he was said to have “smelt strongly of alcohol” and had cuts to his face and hands.
Mackay pleaded guilty last month to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after consuming alcohol and he returned to the dock for sentencing on Friday.
Solicitor Euan Gosney, defending, said his client “takes full responsibility for the offence” and has shown “appropriate remorse for his behaviour”.
Sheriff Alistair Noble said all three victims had “suffered very serious life-changing injuries” and in his opinion “a custodial sentence cannot be avoided”.
Mackay, from the city’s Gorgie, was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for two years and 10 months.
He will have to sit and pass the extended driving test before he is allowed back on the road.
The court was told Mackay had been seen drinking with a friend at the Elios cocktail bar in the capital’s George Street at around 4pm on May 1 last year.
Prosecutor Kirsty Webb said Mackay had downed bottles of lager and tequila shots before getting into his white Audi at around 10pm to drive around the two miles to his home.
The prosecutor said Mr and Miss Edwardson, 27, had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday in the city center and had hailed the passing rickshaw while walking home.
The court was told moments before the collision Mackay was spotted undercutting a vehicle as he drove along the city’s West Approach Road at speeds between 35 and 48mph.
The prosecutor said: “The witness recalls the white Audi passing his left-hand side at speed, before observing the parked rickshaw within the bus stop.
“The accused appeared to take no action to avoid the rickshaw and continued to drive at speed and consequently collide with the rear of the rickshaw.
“The force of the collision caused Rodriguez-Amores to be ejected from the rickshaw and come to rest near the center line.
“Torquil and Inga Edwardson were also propelled from the rickshaw causing significant injuries.”
Ms Webb said Mr Rodriguez-Amores, 25, was forced to spend three months in hospital and since being discharged he had returned to his home in Spain “to recover further in the care of his parents.”
Inga Edwardson suffered fractures to her pelvis, ribs and foot after the smash last year as well as severe bruising.
The museum worker from Edinburgh now lives in constant agony and still has a long recovery ahead of her.
She said: “What happened was traumatic and in many ways life-changing so I’m glad there’s now justice.
“I remember just chatting and the next thing I know I’m lying on the tarmac surrounded by loads of people.
“I didn’t even know there had been a crash until I heard people shouting and when I felt pain when I tried to move.
“I don’t like to talk about what happened or about my injuries – my recovery is still ongoing, even today, however the whole time the nurses and doctors have been great.”
She added: ““I’m glad there’s justice and maybe others can learn from that but what’s done is done, and now I just want to move on.
“And finally I’d just like to thank friends and family who have helped my brother and I after this and we also wish the best for the rickshaw driver and hope he recovers well.”
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