Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 13:45 UK

Driver admits double death crash

The crash killed Paul Anderson and his granddaughter Samantha Carr

A security van driver has admitted causing the death of a four-year-old girl and her grandfather in a crash as they travelled to a family funeral.

Ian Shennan, 59, from Elgin, forced Paul Anderson to take evasive action on the A9 in the Highlands last July.

Mr Anderson, 48, and his family - including four-year-old Samantha Carr - were on their way to the funeral of his niece, who had died in a crash.

Lord Brodie deferred sentence for the preparation of a background report.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge released Shennan on bail but banned him from driving in the interim.

He admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Outside the court, Mr Anderson's widow Melanie said her family had been devastated by the accident and she urged drivers to think about their actions.

Mr Anderson, an engineer from Colne, Lancashire, had been taking his family to the funeral of 27-year-old Vicky Pickering.

The witnesses behind him could clearly see that he was making little progress and expected him to slow down and pull back
Alex Prentice QC
Advocate depute

She died in a crash on the M6 in Lancashire, also in July, while on her way to her home village, Gairloch, in the north west Highlands.

Mr Anderson, who was towing a caravan, was travelling north with his wife and their grandchildren Samantha and Emma for the funeral.

On the stretch of the A9 at Crubenmore, near Kingussie, he took action to avoid a collision with Shennan who was attempting to overtake a line of traffic.

Mr Anderson lost control of his vehicle as the caravan began to "snake" on the road and it overturned before being hit by another car.

His wife and Samantha's younger sister Emma were injured in the smash.

The court heard that Shennan was driving south to take used banknotes to Edinburgh and to pick up a new supply cash for teller machines.

'Custodial sentence'

A slow moving car was at the front of a line of traffic and when they entered a short section of dual carriageway drivers, including Shennan, pulled out to overtake.

A van pulling a caravan ahead of him completed the overtaking manoeuvre and Shennan then tried to overtake it.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said Shennan continued to overtake even after the end of the dual carriageway, travelling across the chevroned lines in the centre of the carriageway.

Mr Prentice added: "The witnesses behind him could clearly see that he was making little progress and expected him to slow down and pull back."

Police officers investigating the crash said Shennan was to blame for the crash even though there was no contact between his van and the Andersons' car.

Defence counsel Peter Gray QC said Shennan was "under no illusions" about the seriousness of his position.

The QC added: "He recognises a custodial sentence is inevitable."

Miss Pickering had joined the Royal Navy after leaving Gairloch High School and worked at HMS Nelson Naval Base in Portsmouth.

She was killed along with her friend, Zoe West, while on their way to surprise her mother Glenys Pickering - Mr Anderson's sister - on her 50th birthday.

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