A GRAN who drove into oncoming traffic causing the death of her 99-year-old aunt sitting next to her has been fined £200.

Alison Samuel pleaded guilty earlier this year to driving without due care and attention, leading to the collision where Violet Terrett died a short time later.

Samuel, 74, was driving her aunt to her home in Edinburgh after a week-long family gathering in Campbeltown.

The retired music teacher and mum of two was heading south along the A82 past Luss just after lunch, heard Dumbarton Sheriff Court on August 28.

At around 2.50pm on March 29, 2019, Samuel was seen veering right unexpectedly.

About 120 metres before the entrance to Ardallie House on her right, Samuel drove her black Vauxhall Astra into the opposing lane.

She collided head on with a hired van driven by Robert Bailey with five other passengers.

Samuel’s car turned on its side and continued until it hit the right-side verge. There was substantial damage to the van and one passenger suffered minor facial injuries.

Witnesses driving behind Samuel found her in a state of shock. Ms Terrett was slumped forward with her head down next to the gear lever. A faint pulse was found and two trained nurses were able to start CPR.

Two paramedics arrived a short time later and took over CPR but with no positive results. Ms Terrett died at 3.30pm.

An investigation into the incident found no reason for Samuel to have crossed into the other carriageway.

Defence solicitor Paul Mullen said Ms Terrett’s next of kin fully supported Samuel, and had asked the Crown for no action to be taken against her.

Mr Mullen said Samuel’s aunt had undergone cancer treatment and that Samuel, who lives in Kingston, Surrey, had helped in the recovery.

He said of the incident: “It’s really quite inexplicable how this occurred.

“Ms Samuel accepts full responsibility. Her burden is something that impacts on her daily. She also feels a profound sense of loss because she was very close to the deceased.

“Ms Samuel suffered significant injuries. Although she has recovered physically, emotionally she has not.

“She has never been in trouble before. Not even a parking fine. She is keen for closure.”

Sheriff William Gallacher said a custodial sentence never crossed his mind despite “such an inexplicable situation but catastrophic result”.

Mr Mullen said his client had no intention of ever driving again.

Sheriff Gallacher told her it was an “unmitigated tragedy, a tragedy first for your aunt, for your family and for you”.

He said: “Nothing a court can say will help to recover from this loss.

“Any penalty is also irrelevant to any loss of life but I have to mark it in some way. This was serious but you didn’t mean to do it. You did it as something you cannot explain.”

Samuel was fined £200 and disqualified for a year, the statutory minimum.