Scots biker spared jail over Loch Lomond crash which left French tourist disabled

A biker who left a holidaymaker disabled in a head-on motorbike smash has been spared jail.. Usman Rashid smashed into Hubert Hardie by speeding round a blind bend near Loch Lomond. The “life-changing” collision occurred as the pair rode near the village of Tarbet, Argyll and Bute.

The French tourist had to have emergency surgery to save his right leg, suffered a broken spine, and spent more than a month in hospital in Scotland. It took him so long to recover from his injuries that he had to be discharged to another hospital in his homeland.

You are reading: Scots biker spared jail over Loch Lomond crash which left French tourist disabled

Usman Rashid left Hubert Hardie with serious injuries.
Usman Rashid left Hubert Hardie with serious injuries.

He is now unable to work as he has to walk with the aid of crutches and has has to get friends and family to help him around the house. Rashid, 32, previously admitted a charge of culpable and reckless driving over the August 5, 2018 smash, and returned to the dock at Dumbarton Sheriff Court this week to be sentenced.

Defence solicitor Ross Yuill told the court that Rashid, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, recognised that his actions has caused “a very significant injury” to Mr Hardie and that the effects were “life-changing”. He said Rashid had stopped driving his motorbike as a result of the collision and now only traveled in a car.

He said Rashid had also suffered as a result of the crash and spent a number of months undertaking rehab for his own injuries, adding: “This has had a fairly marked impact on him.”

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Sheriff Maxwell Hendry also said Mr Hardie had suffered “life-changing” injuries and that he was “just able to avoid” sending Rashid to prison. He placed him on a Community Payback Order, which will see him carrying out 250 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months.

The sentence was reduced from 300 hours’ and was imposed as a direct alternative to custody. He was also banned from driving for three years. Prosecutor David McDonald told the court previously: “A driver observed Mr Rashid overtaking him just as Mr Rashid approached a sign for a sharp right bend.

Rashid's careless driving caused a head-on smash.
Rashid’s careless driving caused a head-on smash.

“Thereafter, Mr Rashid was seen overtaking the vehicle in front. He observed Mr Rashid filtering through traffic and overtaking their vehicle. The witnesses saw Mr Rashid overtaking a final vehicle. Mr Rashid carried out a manoeuvre whereby he overtook this vehicle and completely ignored clear warning signs, by way of a red warning triangle, set out on both sides of the carriageway.

“He continued to overtake the final vehicle before the blind bend by driving in the middle of the opposing carriageway. Mr Hardie was riding his motorcycle in the opposing carriageway at this bend. As a result, Mr Rashid collided with Mr Hardie resulting in both Mr Rashid and Mr Hardie being thrown from their respective motorcycles and causing severe injury to Mr Hardie’s right leg and spine.”

The crash was spotted by another biker who saw police officers nearby and told them, and they raced to the scene. Mr McDonald added: “On arrival they noted a large tail back of traffic and no inbound traffic indicating that the road was blocked. The police control room had alerted them that ambulance crews would be arriving shortly.

“Police witnesses thereafter proceeded through the traffic to the locus and observed two motorcycles still on the carriageway and Mr Rashid to be crying out in pain. Officers noted that Mr Rashid had no visible injuries but was taken to the hospital. Officers also noted that Mr Hardie had an open wound to his right leg that appeared to be extremely deep and he was clearly in a lot of pain and discomfort.

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“Mr Hardie is a French national who was visiting Scotland. He was transported to Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, and then the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, before being transported to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for further treatment and operations in order to save his right leg.

“Mr Hardie had a severe injury to his tibia and fibula of his right leg with extensive soft tissue damage. The injury sustained by Mr Hardie was a limb threatening injury and due to the risk of nonunion of bone and infection it could result in limb amputation. He also had a fractured spine.”

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