A speeding young motorist, whose friend died in a horrific crash on a dark, country road in winter weather, has been jailed for 30 months.
Daniel Brackenbury, of Elm Grove, St Monans, lost control of his car and hit a bridge before leaving the road, having earlier racked up points on his driver’s licence for speeding within months of passing his test.
His front seat passenger, 19-year-old Darren Robertson, of King Street, St Monans, died after suffering multiple injuries and blunt force trauma.
Last Wednesday, a judge told Brackenbury at the High Court in Edinburgh: “What happened on the day of this incident was a dreadful tragedy.”
Lord Bannatyne said: “The death of Mr Robertson has clearly had a devastating impact on both his immediate and extended family.”
Brackenbury had earlier pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Robertson by driving dangerously the B9171 road between Dunino and Anstruther, on December 11, 2010.
The judge said he took into account there was no drink or drugs involved, nor was there racing, or a series of dangerous maneouvres leading up to the fatal incident.
But Lord Bannatyne said the speed limit was 60mph and Brackenbury had been estimated to be driving in excess of 85mph.
The judge said: “I have to note you were very familiar with this road. I note that, at the time of this event, it was dark, there were no street lights at the locus, there had been a recent heavy snowfall and there were light patches of frost present.”
“I also note you had accumulated six points for speeding within six months of passing your test,” he said.
Lord Bannatyne said Brackenbury, now 21, would have faced a 45-month prison term, but for his guilty plea.
The judge also banned him from driving for five years and ordered he resit a test.
Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said that although Brackenbury had “ little memory of the offence” he fully accepted his responsibility.
“The knowledge that he is the person who caused Mr Robertson’s death and is responsible for the grief resulting from that has had a profound effect on him,” he added.