Friday, January 17, 2014

UK: Scotsman, 55, Driving at Three Times the Legal Limit Kills Dutch Tourist, 70

According to, Dutch tourist Eduard Goudsblom, 70, a father, grandfather and physically fit senior citizen, was hit and killed by a drunken Scotsman, security consultant Stewart Williamson, 55, on April 6, 2013, particularly considering that Williamson had a blood-alcohol level THREE times the legal limit.

Mr. Goudsblom was struck and killed while walking in the town of Pitlochry, Scotland.

Sadly, Goudsblom had just arrived in Scotland on April 6, 2013, for a walking tour with friends when Williamson's Ford Galaxy struck him while walking with other pedestrians. 

The retired Dutchman had only arrived in Scotland on April 6, and had planned to spend a few days walking in Perthshire before moving on to the Isle of Skye.

Earlier this week, Advocate depute Leanne Cross told the High Court in Edinburgh: "The decedent kept in excellent health and was a married man with two children...He also had a number of grandchildren and he spent a considerable amount of time with his family.”

Williamson, 55, of Duff Avenue, Moulin, Pitlochry, admitted causing Mr. Goudsblom death due his intoxicated condition.  

Williamson drove at excessive speed, failed to properly negotiate a bend in the road and lost control of his car which struck the Dutchman who subsequently died of his injuries.

Following his guilty plea, Williamson's counsel, Ronnie Renucci, asked for his bail to be continued while a background report is prepared on him ahead of sentencing next month.

The defense counsel said that Williamson "recognizes and accepts that a custodial sentence is inevitable."

COMMENT: Yet, Judge John Beckett QC remanded him in custody and said: "Such is the gravity of this offence that I am not prepared to continue bail at this stage."

The court heard that Goudsblom and his wife, from Zetten, in the Netherlands, had booked a guest house in Pitlochry with a friend, Antonios Jensson, at the start of their trip.

Both men went to the Moulin Hotel for a drink in the evening, the prosecutor said: "They were looking forward to their walking holiday and were in good spirits."

Williamson and his wife had gone out for a meal at a restaurant and drank wine before going on to another hotel where they drank more before leaving shortly before midnight.

Ms. Cross said: "According to Mrs. Williamson, she believed they intended to walk home, a distance of roughly 1.5 miles and that they would pick up their car the following morning."

Mrs. Williamson began walking, but after a short distance looked back and did not see her husband and assumed he had either gone to the toilet or stopped to chat.

Goudsblom and his friend and some others had left the Moulin Hotel just before midnight and were planning to walk down the road together. They were standing just in front of the hotel. Ms. Cross said: "Their attention was immediately drawn to the sound of a car approaching, coming up the hill."

From the sound of the engine those in the group quickly formed the opinion the that the vehicle was approaching at a fast rate of speed. 

The vehicle collided with the rear bumper of another car and drove over a curb and approached Goudsblom and Jensson.

The prosecutor explained that although Jensson attempted to  grab  Goudsblom and pull him to safety, he was unsuccessful in doing so. 

What happened next was that Goudsblom was hit by the hood of Williamson's vehicle and was hurled up on  the vehicle's windshield before being thrown onto the road. Williamson's vehicle continued drag him under the undercarriage before stopping a short distance away.

Police quickly arrived on the scene and were given a car jack, but were unable to free Goudsblom. Firefighters used an air bag to lift the Galaxy enough to free the victim, but paramedics found no signs of life. He was found to have suffered a massive injury to the back of his head.

During a post-mortem a number of injuries were noted including fractures to the skull, neck, back and pelvis.

Williamson acknowledged responsibility for the accident., 

Ms. Cross said that Williamson submitted to a breathalyzer test, which revealed 108 ml, just over three times the legal drink driving limit.

Cross said accident investigators said that bends in the road could only be safely negotiated at 30 mph, suggesting that Williamson was driving at a much greater speed.

The advocate depute explained that "the vehicle was either traveling in excess of 30 mph or the driver's ability may have been in some way impaired either by poor judgement or impaired faculties causing the driver to steer too late -- or a combination of both."

Williamson, of Pitlochry, admitted causing death by dangerous driving, while under the influence of alcohol. He will be sentenced next month [February 2014].

Start Quote

Mr Jensson had no time to fully think or react but he tried to grab the deceased and pull him to safety”
Leanne CrossAdvocate depute
Following his guilty plea, Williamson's counsel asked for bail to be continued ahead of sentencing next month. Judge John Beckett QC; however, remanded him in custody and said: "Such is the gravity of this offense that I am not prepared to continue bail at this stage."

Pitlochry is a small town near Perth and Kinross in Scotland and lies on the Tummel River. It's population is 2,564.

As a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking on November 8, 1986, it is indeed sad that so many lives are ended, unnecessarily, due to excessive drinking that cannot be controlled. Such a pity for all concerned.