Italian tourist jailed for five road deaths

A 50-year-old Italian tourist has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for causing the deaths of five people, including his four-year-old son, after drifting into oncoming traffic.

Alfredo Ciociola was sentenced at the High Court in Livingston after having been found guilty of causing the deaths of Audrey Appleby, Edward Reid, Evalyn Collie, Frances Saliba and Lorenzo Ciociola, on 26 July 2018 on the A96 the Huntly to Keith Road. 

Frederico Ciociola, Francesco Patane, Concetta Passanisi, Morag Mary Smith, and Alfredo Ciociola were all injured. Concetta Passanisi’s injuries were initially described as life threatening. 

The court heard that Ciociola had hired a white Fiat Talento 9-seater minibus to drive from Edinburgh to Inverness with his partner Concetta, his two young boys Lorenzo and Frederico and his friend Francesco and partner Frances. 

At about 11.50pm, on the road near to the Drummuir junction, Alfredo Ciociola drifted into the southbound lane directly in front of Morag’s Smith’s orange Nissan X-Trail. 

Morag had been driving back from a line dancing club with her friends Edward Reid, Evalyn Collie and Audrey Appleby when the crash happened. All the passengers in that car died. 

Prosecutors pursued Ciociola’s extradition from Sicily after he did not appear for trial in August 2021. He contested this but was eventually returned to Scotland this year. 

David Green, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime said: 

“This case shows the truly tragic consequences of careless and criminal driving and the devastating effect it has on so many lives. 

“Alfredo Ciociola’s refusal to come back to Scotland to face the consequences of his actions earlier caused those affected more distress.  

“I would like to thank the police, our International Co-operation Unit and Italian authorities for their cooperation and commitment to the effective and fair administration of justice. 

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who died as they try to cope with such terrible loss.”