Italian tourist fined £700 over crash involving police car on A72 near Cardrona

An Italian tourist has been fined £700 for causing a road accident resulting in a police car ending up on its side and crashing into a tree.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 12:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 1:05 pm
Sacha Coltellacci's BMW after July's crash on the A72.

Sacha Coltellacci, a journalist for Sky News, admitted careless driving on the A72 Innerleithen-to-Peebles road at Horsbrugh Ford, near Cardrona, on July 13.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told he was turning right in his left-hand-drive BMW 1 Series car but went over the white lines in the middle of the road and was hit by a police car responding to an emergency callout with blue lights flashing and siren sounding.

The 25-year-old driver of the police car was left seriously injured, and Coltellacci, his wife and two children aged one and five were all hurt too.

Fiona Hamilton, prosecuting, said: “He was not in the right position on the road, and the outcome is quite significant.

“The police car leaves the road and strikes a telegraph pole and comes to rest on its side.

“The accused’s vehicle was significantly damaged, and the police officer suffered a fracture to his vertebrae but is expected to make a full recovery.

Sheriff Raymond McMenamin said the offence was at the lower end of the scale, being more of a misjudgement than anything else, so he could deal with the case in Coltellacci’s absence.

In addition to being fined £700, reduced from £1,000 due to his guilty plea, Coltellacci, of Milan, had his driving licence endorsed with four penalty points.