Family speaks out as Memsie man admits death by dangerous driving

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The grieving family of Laura Thomas have spoken out following Memsie man Ian Smith’s court appearance on Thursday last week when he pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at the High Court in Glasgow.

Laura’s mother Sherri travelled to Glasgow with her family and some of Laura’s friends to attend the hearing.

Laura’s sister and her friends wore bright green t-shirts with different photographs of Laura printed on them in a moving tribute to the 19-year-old.

Sherri said: “I feel a bit shell shocked and am still processing all the new information that I found out at the hearing.

“It has been, and probably will continue to be, a very painful and an empty life that I now have to live without Laura.

“Laura was the ‘life and soul’ of everywhere she went. Always smiling or laughing, she would manage to turn someone’s sad face into a smile.

“She was one in a million and I am very proud of her with everything she was and everything that she did.

“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister but a brilliant true friend too. It’s absolutely soul destroying.

“Words are very difficult to try and explain properly the tragic loss of Laura.”

Laura died after her car was involved in a collision with a vehicle being driven by Ian Smith of Memsie on the A891 Fraserburgh to Strichen road on September 5 last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard last week that Smith was almost twice the legal drink-drive limit when he lost control of his Renault Megane, swerved onto the opposite carriageway and struck Laura’s Ford Ka.

Prosecutors said the accused had been drinking with friends at his parents’ house before giving a friend a lift to a dance.

Three passengers in Laura’s car suffered injuries including broken bones, while Smith himself was knocked unconscious but recovered at the scene.

Sentence was deferred by Lord Bracadale until later this month for background reports. Smith has been bailed meantime and banned from driving in the interim.