A taxi driver who knocked down and killed a 21-year-old girl will keep his licence over the festive period.
Steven Clifford Cohen, of Speirs Road in Johnstone, admitted today at Paisley Sheriff Court that he caused the death of Astrid Yeates on January 18, 2019, by running her over in Ayr Road, Giffnock.
Procurator fiscal Harry Finlay told the court that Astrid was making her way to the bus stop to head to Strathclyde University to give a presentation when she was tragically killed by taxi driver Cohen, 58, on the A77.
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Mr Finlay explained: “The incident took place near to the junction of Woodvale Avenue and Norwood Drive.
“The deceased was coming from Woodvale Avenue, where she had stayed the night previously with her family.
“On the day of the collision Ms Yeates was due to give a visual presentation on the scholarship programme at Strathclyde University. She was a Masters student at this university.
“She and her mum had intended on travelling together on the number 38 bus in to Glasgow.
“Yeates was organised, she had left out her clothes the night before and her mum made her breakfast that morning before she left for the bus around 7.27am.
“Her mum left the house shortly after.”
Tragically, that was the last time Mrs Yeates made her daughter breakfast because when she made her way across the street to the bus stop Cohen’s silver Skoda Octavia collided with the 21-year-old sending her “upwards and forwards” over the car.
Mr Finlay added: “The accused is unable to say why the collision had occurred and he was not aware of Ms Yates' presence.
“There were shoe scuff marks on the road which identified her body being dragged along the road before it came to a rest.
“There was damage to multiple areas of the car including the windscreen, bumper and headlight and the adjacent windscreen was smashed.
“Ms Yeates sustained a laceration to her thigh and rear skull fractures.
“Yeates suffered indirect and direct brain damage.
“Examinations show that Ms Yeates was only on the road for between 2.22 and 3.14 seconds.
“Had it not been for the collision, Ms Yeates would not have died.”
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Members of the public - including two doctors - rushed to help Astrid as she lay unconscious on the road.
Paramedics rushed to the scene and she was taken to Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance where her condition “deteriorated.”
Mr Finlay explained that the post-mortem concluded that she had tragically died as a result of a “head injury caused by a road traffic collision.”
She is survived by her parents, her younger sister and boyfriend.
Defence solicitor Ms Connelly reserved mitigation for the preparation of reports but did tell the court that Renfrewshire Council had allowed Cohen to keep his taxi license.
She said: “Renfrewshire Council, who grant the license of taxi drivers, had to make a decision on suspending Mr Cohen in light of this incident.
“The council decided against suspending his license at that time.
“This has allowed him to maintain his livelihood.
“He has been a taxi driver for eight years and has held his driving licence since he was 17.
“Mr Cohen has a long, unblemished record of driving.
“This was a tragic incident and Mr Cohen is incredibly remorseful.”
Sheriff Gillian Craig said: “In relation to this offence, I want to consider all options available to me, so I will therefore need to call for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment.
“Disqualification for this offence is mandatory but I will not impose a disqualification in the interim period.”
Cohen will return to Paisley Sheriff Court in January to learn his fate.
Renfrewshire Council have been approached for comment.
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