Drunk driver killed pensioner in horror crash

Drunk driver killed pensioner in horror crash while speeding at 67mph in a 30mph limit – then went to the pub and ordered a pint

  • Martin Henderson, 30, crashed into passengers waiting at bus stop in Aberdeen 
  • Allan Forbes, 70, was thrown into a nearby car park by force of impact and died
  • Henderson pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in court today

Pictured: Martin Henderson, 30, who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving

A drunk motorist returned to the pub and ordered a pint after killing a pensioner in a horror crash while driving at more than double the speed limit, a court heard. 

Martin Henderson, 30, was travelling at 67mph in a 30mph section of dual carriageway when he lost control of his BMW and crashed into people waiting at a bus stop in Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

Allan Forbes, 70, was thrown into a hotel car park by the force of the impact, sustained ‘catastrophic, unsurvivable injuries’ and died at the scene. 

The retired bus driver had been on his way to meet his son at the pub when the tragedy took place at around 8pm on November 9 last year.

Chloe Donaldson, then 18, who was waiting a short distance from the bus shelter, was severely injured and now has metal pins holding part of her leg together. 

Henderson fled to a nearby pub after the crash, where he ordered a pint before returning home to Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

He told his partner he had ‘f***ed up’ once he arrived home, opened two cans of lager, reported his car stolen to the police and fell asleep on the couch. 

The former engineering supervisor for an offshore oil company pleaded guilty today to causing death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The court heard he has six previous convictions for driving offences, including drink driving, speeding and careless driving, and he has previously been given three driving bans.

Henderson was travelling at 67mph in a 30mph section of dual carriageway (pictured, the scene) when he lost control of his BMW and crashed into people waiting at a bus stop in Aberdeen


Allan Forbes (left) was thrown into a nearby car park by the force of the impact, sustained ‘catastrophic, unsurvivable injuries’ and died at the scene in Bucksburn. Chloe Donaldson (right) was severely injured and now has metal pins holding part of her leg together

Judge Lord Mulholland told Henderson, who was tearful throughout the hearing, he is facing prison, having turned his car into ‘a lethal weapon’.

Advocate depute Graeme Jessop told the court Henderson had visited two pubs in Inverurie on the evening of the crash, drinking two and a half pints, before getting behind the wheel of his black BMW estate at around 7.30pm with a workmate as a passenger.

As he headed along the A96 towards Aberdeen, he drove at 60mph in a 40mph limit section, undertaking a car then straddling two lanes.

He then drove through a red light, narrowly missing colliding with a van, before overtaking on a bend at an estimated speed of 97mph.

On the approach to the crash site, he was travelling at 67mph in a 30mph section of dual carriageway when he began overtaking a car, lost control, hit a Nissan Pixo and crashed into the passengers at the bus stop at around 7.50pm.

The Nissan Pixo hit the central reservation but the driver, his son and his son’s friend who were inside were not injured.

Henderson’s passenger also avoided injury, stayed at the scene and told the police Henderson had been driving.

Mr Jessop told the court retired bus driver Mr Forbes was waiting for a bus as he planned to meet his son in a pub.

Pictured: Police at the scene after the crash in Bucksburn, Aberdeen on November 9 last year

He leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Caroline, two sons and a daughter as well as four siblings.

Lord Mulholland told Henderson: ‘This was not just a momentary lapse of appalling driving, it is constant appalling driving for quite some distance, involving speeding, going through a red light, undertaking, overtaking, overtaking while it was unsafe to do so, all whilst you are under the influence of alcohol, meaning that you turned your car into a lethal weapon.

‘You have taken a life and given that poor family a life sentence.’

He said Ms Donaldson had suffered a ‘horrific injury’ and could face life-long consequences.

Lord Mulholland continued: ‘You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.’

The court heard Mr Forbes’ family and Ms Donaldson had wanted to attend court but decided not to with reluctance after being ‘strongly advised’ by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service not to due to coronavirus.

Henderson’s defence advocate, Neil Shand, said his client ‘recognises that a custodial sentence is entirely inevitable and indeed deserved’.

Lord Mulholland deferred sentence for background reports until June 30.

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