A WOMAN who was thought to have had a blackout when she ploughed into two holidaymakers killing one of them did not surrender her licence until seven months later despite having recurring turns, an inquiry into the tragedy has heard.
Alice Ross said she had no concerns about the possibility of suffering a blackout while at the wheel.
She apologised for the accident but told the inquiry at Wick that she had no memory of colliding with Christopher and Elaine Dunne and believed that her Nissan Micra was the only car involved in the accident, on the A99, at Auckengill, on September 21, 2011 until the news was broken to her later.
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Mrs Dunne was pronounced dead at the scene - her husband sustained multiple injuries but recovered. The couple had been on a cycling holiday to mark their first wedding anniversary and came off their bike at a croft house to put on rainwear.
Petite Mrs Alice Ross, said to be virtually housebound due to a back complaint, made her way into a hearing, specially convened in a church hall in her home village of Lybster - with the aid of a walking stick.
The softly-spoken 96-year-old, who was on her way to visit a cousin in John O' Groats at the time of the crash, recalled an impression of a cat crossing which had caused her to veer onto the wrong side of the road. She said that her health had never interfered with her driving during some 45 years trouble-free motoring and, apart from a back complaint and blood pressure, regarded her health as good.