A speeding driver has admitted causing the death of a North-east pensioner by driving dangerously while overtaking two vehicles on a country road.
James Hilton, 24, crossed on to the other carriageway when it was not safe and was involved in a head-on crash with a Ford Fiesta travelling in the opposite direction.
Patrick Pirie, 81, was travelling home from a farmers mart in nearby Huntly when he was seriously injured in the collision.
Mr Pirie, who had four children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, was rushed to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin for treatment but died as a result of chest injuries a short time afterwards.
The High Court in Aberdeen was told Hilton was trying to catch up with a friend who was travelling in another car ahead of him on the A920 road when the tragedy happened on March 7, 2015.
Hilton, of Grandholm Crescent, Aberdeen, who had been visiting his own grandad at a hospital in Aberlour shortly before the collision, was charged with causing Mr Pirie’s death by driving dangerously at excessive speed for the road conditions.
At the High Court in Aberdeen, Advocate Depute William McVicar said Hilton overtook two vehicles at speed and carried out this manoeuvre when he had “insufficient view of oncoming vehicles”.
Mr Pirie was taken to hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead at 5.45pm that day.
Hilton, who was driving a white Renault Twingo, also sustained a fractured pelvis and elbow and continues to have mobility difficulties with his right arm.
Defence lawyer Tony Lenehan, said his client had believed the road to be clear in front of him before he carried out the overtaking manoeuvre.
Mr Lenehan said: “The enormity of the harm that he has done is in no way lost upon Mr Hilton and he implores me to extend his apologies to those who have most greatly been affected by it.”
Sentence was deferred for background reports until May 16 at the High Court in Edinburgh.