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Motorist jailed for fatal car crash

AN IT consultant has been jailed for three years and eight months for killing a husband and wife in a head-on crash.

James Mitchell, 48, from Bo'ness, West Lothian, admitted causing the deaths of grandparents Derek and Avril Peoples by dangerous driving.

He crashed his Hyundai i30 car into Mr Peoples's Kia on the A697 near Carfraemill in the Borders, while on the wrong side of the road overtaking a lorry on December 23, 2012.

The Peoples, from Kelso, were married for 31 years and were returning from a weekend visiting friends when the collision happened. They died within an hour of each other.

Mitchell admitted to police at the crash scene he caused the crash, saying: "It was me, yes." He has described his overtaking manoeuvre as "a colossal error in judgment" and has vowed he will never drive again.

Sentencing Mitchell at the High Court in Glasgow, judge John Beckett, QC, told him: "I accept you have shown and felt real remorse. It is clear you are highly regarded by your family and those you worked for. You have raised money for charity and your driving is described as normally careful and responsible."

But Judge Beckett added: "When you began to overtake the lorry you could not have had a clear view. You made an extremely rash and dangerous overtaking manoeuvre."

Solicitor advocate, Euan Roy,  defending, said: "This was a momentary lapse."

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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