Teen given 54-month ban over crash near Gordon that left pals injured

O'Rourke was en route to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose.
O'Rourke was en route to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose.

A teenager has been banned from the road for four and a half years at Jedburgh Sheriff Court for dangerous driving that left two former friends seriously injured.

Katelyn Scott, 18, was travelling at excessive speed for the road conditions at the time and failed to negotiate a left-hand bend, leading to her Ford Fiesta leaving the road and smashing into a tree.

She suffered only minor injuries but her two then friends, both passengers in the car, were left seriously injured, the court heard.

The accident happened on the B6397 Kelso-Earlston road near its turn-off for Mellerstain House, south of Gordon, at 1.30am on Saturday, August 19, last year.

As well as being banned from driving for 54 months, Scott, of Fairyways, Melrose, was fined £900.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said the teenager, now a biomedical science student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, had taken her mother’s car out, having passed her test nine months previously, for a drive to locations including Galashiels, Stow, Lauder, Melrose, Selkirk and St Boswells with friends Lanna Glover and Kaylee Henderson.

Neither of her passengers, both 18 at the time, were concerned about the manner of the driving but they did feel she was going too fast on unfamiliar roads over the course of a journey of up to 80 miles, he said.

Mr Fraser said there was no suggestion she was exceeding the 60mph limit at the time of the accident, but when she approached the bend where she came off the road, one of her passengers shouted at her to slow down.

The vehicle continued straight on at the bend and smashed into a tree about 10 metres off the road.

Scott was able to get out of the car and flag down a passing motorist and police and ambulance vehicles.

Her two passengers were then removed from the car and taken to hospital.

Mr Fraser said: “They both sustained injuries which will affect them on a long-term basis.”

One of the teenagers suffered a serious bowel injury requiring surgery, and the other had her back broken in two places, as well as breaking two ribs, a tooth and a toe.

Mr Fraser concluded: “Quite simply, this was about the accused going too fast on an unfamiliar road, exceeding her driving abilities, and the consequences here have been very serious for both passengers in her vehicle.”

Defence lawyer Greg McDonell said: “First of all, she would like to express her deep remorse for this incident.

“The whole experience has been completely devastating not only for her passengers but for Miss Scott as well.

“She has lost her friends as a result of this incident.

“She had never been in trouble in her young life. She wishes she could turn the clock back and once again apologises to the witnesses for the injuries they sustained.”

Sheriff Peter McCormack said he would have imposed a five-year ban but reduced that to 54 months due to Scott’s guilty plea.

Scott will have to sit an extended driving test before getting her licence back at the end of that period.

A compensation order was not made in favour of the passengers as the matter is being pursued in the civil courts, the hearing was told.