Lorry driver admits causing A92 death crash

Monika Lewandowska-Ritchie and her eight-year-old passenger Bartlomiej Plachta died as a result of the crash.
Monika Lewandowska-Ritchie and her eight-year-old passenger Bartlomiej Plachta died as a result of the crash.

A lorry driver has admitted his carelessness killed a woman and eight-year-old boy in a horrific collision with a car in Fife.

Donald Maguire was not paying proper attention to the road in front of him and ploughed into the back of a Ford Focus in a tragic accident on the A92 near Kirkcaldy last year.

Investigators look at the wreckage.

Investigators look at the wreckage.

The car driver Monika Lewandowska-Ritchie (36) and her eight-year-old passenger Bartlomiej Plachta both died. Another eight-year-old boy, also travelling in the back of the car, was severely injured.

Maguire (56) of Waverley Drive, Glenrothes, appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on April 4, 2016, on the A92 near the Redhouse roundabout he caused the two deaths by driving without due care and attention and failing to pay proper attention to the road in front of him.

As a result, he caused a collision, whereby an eight-year-old boy was severely injured and two occupants of the vehicle were both so severely injured that they died.

Monika Lewandowska-Ritchie

Monika Lewandowska-Ritchie

The accident took place at about 2.55pm on a Monday afternoon north of the Redhouse roundabout, outside Kirkcaldy.

The young victim, known as Bartek, from Poland, died at the scene of the crash and Ms Lewandowska-Ritchie died in hospital. A 36-year-old male passenger in the car was not injured.

Depute fiscal John Adams said Maguire told police officers he was driving back to Glenrothes when the accident occurred.

He said the Ford Focus “stopped in front of me and put the flashers on”.

Bartek Plachta

Bartek Plachta

Maguire said there was also car at the side of him and there was nothing he could do to avoid the collision.

However, Mr Adams said police investigations showed no evidence of the lorry braking. Tachograph evidence confirmed the lorry had been travelling at 50mph and had not slowed down before the collision.

The injured boy required extensive facial surgery on his left cheekbone and eye socket. He may require further surgery on his lip, which was badly injured and his speech is affected.

To the families of the victims, defence advocate Barry Smith expressed his client’s “deep regret that this accident had such terrible and tragic consequences”.

Sheriff Craig McSherry called for reports and Maguire will return to court to be sentenced on January 9. An interim driving ban was imposed.

Following the tragedy, the boy’s family said: “Bartek was a much loved and treasured son and brother. He was a very popular boy who touched the hearts of many and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew and cared for him.”

Ms Lewandowska-Ritchie’s family said: “Monika was a loving wife, mother, sister and daughter who was much loved and will be sadly missed by all who knew and cared for her.”