Driver sped into group of tourists on pavement

The incident happened in January 2018.
The incident happened in January 2018.

A danger driver fishtailed round a corner before mounting a pavement and slamming into a group of tourists in a Fife town centre.

“Impatient” tree surgeon Edward Kolakovic sped off down St Andrews’ Market Street after being held up by cars parking on either side and a lorry being unloaded.

He then tried to turn right – but lost control of his Volkswagen Golf, with the back end swinging out as he tried to turn on the damp cobbles.

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Kolakovic’s car then regained grip as it got on to the tarmacced surface of Church Street – causing the car to spear across the road and up on to the pavement.

There he ploughed into four Chinese tourists wandering the streets of the town, seriously injuring two of them, before smashing into a shopfront.

One of the group suffered “complex” fractures to his feet and ankles that required surgery before he could fly home.

Another suffered a cracked bone in his foot and a fractured toe.

Kolakovic initially told police he had thought one of the victims “had a foot on the road” and that he had reacted to that – even though they were on the opposite side of the road from where he was trying to drive.

A court was shown horror CCTV footage of the moment of impact – with the streets busy with pedestrians as Kolakovic accelarated quickly away from a blockage in Market Street caused by other traffic.

He is then seen attempting to turn right before losing control, the back end of his car sliding out, in the split second before impact.

Fiscal depute Chris McIntosh told Dundee Sheriff Court that the CCTV proved the crash had nothing to do with the accused trying to take evasive action.

He said: “The incident occurred around 11.45am when the four individuals were walking on Church Street on the west pavement.

“The accused was driving in Market Street and his progress was impeded by a lorry unloading and cars parking.

“He accelarated quickly along Market Street and as he attempted to turn right he lost control, mounting the west pavement and colliding with the four witnesses.

“The accused got out to check on the welfare of the four witnesses and police attended.

“The four injured parties were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by ambulance.”

Kolakovic (33) of St Andrews, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, committed on January 12, 2018.

Defence solicitor George Donnelly said: “There was a failure to take account of the change of road surface from cobbles to tarmac.

“The back end fishtails on the cobbles and then as a corrective manouevre is made the traction is found on the tarmac surface.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and released Kolakovic on bail meantime.

He said: “This appeared to be driving that might be characterised as impatient with accelaration that was too hard and a failure to take account that these were relatively narrow streets.

“There was a loss of control that goes with that manner of driving.”

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