A killer driver’s moment of forgetfulness led to the death of a married biker after the teenager doubled back to collect a friend he had forgotten to pick up.
Matthew Jamieson, then 19, had been taking two pals from Carnoustie, Angus, to Dundee when he realised he was also meant to have been giving a lift to another friend.
He turned off of a main road, did a three-point turn and returned to the junction of the A930 and Station Road, Barry, to head back to Carnoustie – only to pull his Volkswagen Golf into the path of a motorcycle being ridden by Graeme Bell.
The two vehicles collided – sending Mr Bell, a motorcycle salesman, somersaulting through the air and leaving him with fatal injuries.
Despite the immediate attention of a passing senior intensive care nurse and a firefighter Mr Bell – described as “one in a million” by family – died at the side of the road.
Jamieson could now face a jail term after he admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving.
Fiscal depute John Adams told Dundee Sheriff Court that Jamieson, who had held a full licence for only a year at the time, had told police the accident had happened moments after he had doubled back to retrieve a friend in Carnoustie.
He said a witness travelling east towards Carnoustie saw the collision take place.
Mr Bell’s motorcycle was travelling West coming out of Carnoustie and estimated his speed at between 50mph and 60mph – within the speed limit at the location.
He said when Jamieson’s car pulled out in front of the bike, Mr Bell started to move out to avoid the car but collided with the front offside corner of the Golf.
Mr Adams said: “He describes the motorcyclist as doing a somersault on to the road.
“The ambulance services were contacted immediately and passers-by, including the nurse and firefighter, stopped to give assistance.
“They could find no pulse or signs of life and commenced CPR, which they continued until the paramedics arrived.”
Mr Bell, 27, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3.01pm.
Mr Adams added: “The accused spoke to his girlfriend’s mother on his mobile phone after the collision. He was noted to be upset and crying and stated to her something along the lines of, ‘The biker pulled out in front of me’ or ‘The biker came out in front of me.’
“A roadside breathalyser was found to be negative.
“The accused was seen to be shocked but lucid.
“The accused commented to police that he had been driving from Carnoustie towards Dundee when he remembered that he had to pick up another friend in Carnoustie.
“He turned into Station Road and performed a three-point turn further down the road before coming back to the junction.
“He turned right back towards Carnoustie and his vehicle was struck at that time.”
A skid mark on the road suggested Mr Bell’s motorcycle had braked sharply, suggesting the speed of the vehicle at the time was between 45mph and 57mph, although it would have decelerated before causing the mark.
The distance Mr Bell was thrown from his machine suggested the vehicle’s speed was between 39 mph and 53mph, he added.
Jamieson, 20, of Burnside Street, Carnoustie, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of causing death by careless driving on November 3 2017 on the A930 Carnoustie to Monifieth Road at the junction of Station Road, Barry.
Sheriff Gregor Murray told Jamieson he would require reports and said he would take all factors into consideration before passing sentence.
He deferred sentence until March 7, disqualified Jamieson in the interim and granted bail pending sentencing.
Speaking after his death, friends and family of Graeme paid tribute to him – while his wife Jenni launched a fundraising campaign in his memory.
She said: “He was my world and I was his but there was still plenty room for his passion for his beloved bikes.
“He was the best and he has been taken from us all too soon.”
Cupar Motorcyles director Paul Weinberger said: “He was one of the best employees we have ever had and he was loved by everybody.
“He was very popular. He didn’t have any enemies and he was a very easy guy to get on with.”
Mr Bell had worked at the motorcycle shop for more than two years.
Posting online, his sister Louise Bell described her brother as “one in a million”.
She said: “Seeing all these nice comments makes me feel even more proud to call him my bro.
“Words can’t describe the pain we all feel and it doesn’t feel real just now. I’m just waiting for him to call me or walk in.
“Life will never be the same. Love you so much bro.”