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Grandfather killed on first day of holiday by drink-driver

A drink-driver who was more than three times the legal limit fatally injured a grandfather on the day he arrived in Scotland for a walking holiday.

Eduard Goudsblom was hit by a Ford Galaxy driven by security consultant Stewart Williamson before being trapped under the car.

The 70-year-old former care home manager, from Holland, had arrived in Pitlochry with a friend to spend a few days in Perthshire before moving on to Skye.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross told the High Court in Edinburgh that Mr Goudsblom had "kept in excellent health and was a married man with two children.

"He also had a number of grandchildren and spent a considerable amount of time with his family."

Williamson, 55, of Duff Avenue, Pitlochry, admitted causing the death of Mr Goudsblom last April 6 by driving dangerously while under the influence of alcohol.

He drove at excessive speed, failed to properly negotiate a bend and lost control of the car, which struck Mr Goudsblom, who died of his injuries. These included fractures to the skull, neck, back and pelvis.

Judge John Beckett, QC, remanded Williamson, a father of three, in custody and said: "Such is the gravity of this offence I am not prepared to continue bail."

The court heard Mr Goudsblom, from Zetten, had booked into a guest house in Pitlochry with a friend, Antonios Jensson. Both went to the Moulin Hotel for a drink in the evening.

Williamson and his wife had gone for a meal at a restaurant and drank wine before going on to another hotel, where they drank more before leaving shortly before midnight.

The prosecutor said: "According to his wife she believed they intended to walk home, a distance of around one and a half miles, and they would pick up their car the following morning."

She set off but after a short distance looked back and did not see her husband and assumed he had gone to the toilet or stopped to chat.

Mr Goudsblom, his friend and some others had left the hotel and were planning to walk down the road together. They were standing just in front of the hotel.

Miss Cross said: "Their attention was immediately drawn to the sound of a car coming up the hill. From the sounds of the engine the people in the group formed the view it was being revved excessively and was approaching at speed.

"In a matter of seconds the Ford Galaxy appeared in the roadway travelling at speed."

The vehicle collided with the rear bumper of another car and mounted a kerb and came towards Mr Goudsblom and Mr Jensson.

The advocate depute said Mr Jensson tried to pull Mr Gouds blom to safety, but the Dutchman was hit by the bonnet of the vehicle. He then struck the windscreen before being thrown on to the road. The car continued dragging him underneath it before stopping a short distance away.

Attempts to free Mr Goudsblom by local people and police were unsuccessful and firefighters had to use an air bag to lift the car enough to free him, but paramedics found no signs of life.

Williamson provided a breath sample of 108 ml, just over three times the legal drink driving limit.

Miss Cross said investigators believed road contours at the scene could be safely negotiated at 30mph. She said in their view "the vehicle was travelling in excess of this or the driver's ability may have been in some way impaired by poor judgement or impaired faculties causing the driver to steer too late - or a combination of both".

Williamson will be sentenced next month.

Contextual targeting label: 
Automotive

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