Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 15:44 UK

Digger roll accident firm fined

Christina Fraser
Christina Fraser was being given a lift home

A firm has been fined 3,750 following an accident where a 30-tonne digger rolled off a transport lorry and hit a car killing a passenger.

Christina Fraser, 24, from Arabella by Tain, died in the incident on the A9 in Ross-shire in July 2006.

Her husband-to-be Gary Ross came across the accident driving to play football.

Munro & Sons (Highland) Ltd, of Alness, Easter Ross, admitted a breach of health and safety law and was fined at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The firm admitted it had failed to provide the transporter's driver with adequate load securing equipment and allowed excess weight on the vehicle.

I express surprise and some concern at the absence of any requirement for compulsory training for drivers of heavy goods vehicles in relation to loading and securing of loads
Lord Brailsford

The judge, Lord Brailsford, admonished the driver, first offender Walter MacLennan, 64, after he admitted a breach of health and safety legislation.

Lord Brailsford voiced concern over the lack of compulsory training for lorry drivers over securing loads which could have helped prevent the accident.

He said: "I express surprise and some concern at the absence of any requirement for compulsory training for drivers of heavy goods vehicles in relation to loading and securing of loads."

"It seems to me that if such training had existed prior to July 5 in 2006 then there is at least the possibility that the accident which occurred might not have taken place," he said.

The court heard the Health and Safety Executive was looking into the issue.

Lord Brailsford said: "I express publicly in this court the hope that guidelines, regulations or whatever is considered appropriate will be forthcoming to try to reduce the possibility of an event such as this happening in the future."

Childhood sweethearts

The judge said he wished to extend his personal sympathy and that of the court to the accident victim's family and Mr Ross.

Ms Fraser had been getting a lift home with a colleague from her beautician's job in Inverness when the accident happened between Tain and Alness.

She and Mr Ross had been childhood sweethearts and after nine years together were planning to marry in 2007.


SEE ALSO
Bereaved fiance speaks of crash
07 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
One dead after digger crushes car
06 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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