Three young children suffered serious injuries when their car was involved in a horror head-on collision with another vehicle.
Ashley Dickson, dodged jail after admitting failing to properly secure the children and driving carelessly on the M73 between Airdrie and Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire in January 2020.
One of the youngsters – an 18-month-old boy – was facing the wrong way in his car seat and the others – aged three and nine – were not properly secured in the back of the Vauxhall Astra.
Dickson, 28, failed to slow down approaching a queue of traffic on the motorway and swerved onto the other carriageway when performing an emergency stop, causing the horror smash.
The kids were rushed to hospital after the smash.
The youngest child was in a forward-facing car seat and the strapping covered only his lower body and not his shoulders. He suffered bleeding on the brain due to the Corsa’s airbag hitting him.
The boy spent eight days in intensive care in hospital before being discharged. He also required three stitches in a head wound.
A girl aged three was not in a child car seat but was wearing an adult seat belt. The seat belt caused “serious bruising” around her abdomen and she was in hospital for a week.
The third passenger – a boy aged nine – wasn’t in a car seat and wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Dickson’s lawyer said the “catastrophic” consequences of the crash will “live with her for many years.”
Lauren Cole, prosecuting, told Airdrie Sheriff Court: “A witness saw her try to perform an emergency stop, but her car swerved to the right, causing a head-on collision with another vehicle.
“Later the accused told police she had been looking at the baby in the front passenger seat. When she turned back the traffic was stopped in front of her.”
Speaking about the nine-year-old’s injuries, Cole stated: “He was thrown forward and sideways by the impact.
“He sustained cuts to his kidney and liver, and a catheter had to be inserted. He also had a head cut that required four stitches. He too was in hospital for a week.”
The driver of the other car – police officer Caroline McGladdery – was cut from the wreckage. She suffered bruising and whiplash injuries, aggravating a previous shoulder problem.
The court heard that Dickson sustained a broken ankle and her kneecap was shattered. She underwent three operations.
Dickson, of Airdrie, appeared as a first offender and lawyer Luke O’Curry said: “This will live with her for many years.
“The emotional impact has been catastrophic for all concerned.”
The solicitor said one of the children had been misbehaving, but Dickson accepted she should have ensured seat belts were secured properly before setting off on the short trip.
A “momentary lack of attention” led to the collision.
O’Curry said Dickson has not driven since the crash and intends to take lessons to “get her confidence back”.
Sheriff Fergus Thomson said that as the accused had no previous convictions and was assessed as at minimal risk of re-offending he would not jail her.
Dickson was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and had five penalty points put on his license.
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