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German tourist admits to causing death by careless driving after crash on A82 killed 24-year-old girlfriend

By Ali Morrison

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Melina Rosa Päprer.
Melina Rosa Päprer.

A German tourist who was at the wheel during a two-vehicle crash that killed his girlfriend will face sentencing after admitting to causing serious injury and death by careless driving.

Gerrit Reickmann (30), of Am Hanloh, Münster, Germany, was driving a hired blue Citroen C3 on the A82 when he collided with another motorist on October 12, 2020 near Borlum Farm, Drumnadrochit.

A jury at the High Court in Inverness heard how Reickmann and his girlfriend of five months, Melina Rosa Päprer (24), of Lüneburg, Germany, had been visiting the Highlands on their first holiday together after being together for five months.

Tragedy struck when their vehicle collided with a grey Honda CRV, resulting in the death of Ms Päprer and serious injury to Reickmann and the driver of the other vehicle.

Requiring treatment in hospital for a week after the crash, Reickmann later returned to Germany to continue his recovery.

The driver of the Honda CRV, Catherine Bruce (59), told jurors on Wednesday that she had tried to swerve her car after she saw “a flash” coming towards her.

The court also heard that the roads policing unit had found Mr Reickmann's vehicle to have been "driven southbound in the northbound lane" while the other vehicle was in the correct lane.

Reickmann had denied killing Ms Päprer by driving dangerously but yesterday admitted a lesser charge of causing serious injury and death by careless driving.

Speaking after the plea was accepted, defence solicitor advocate James Keegan KC reportedly told the court it was a terrible tragedy.

Judge Lady Drummond disqualified Reickmann from driving with immediate effect, for a period to be determined at sentencing at Aberdeen High Court next year.

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