Tuesday 28 February 2017

Inquiry into Glasgow bin lorry crash which killed six people could last up to five weeks

The tragedy happened days before Christmas last year. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The tragedy happened days before Christmas last year. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

An inquiry into a bin lorry crash which killed six people could last up to five weeks, a court has heard.

The tragedy happened when a Glasgow City Council truck collided with pedestrians in the city centre days before Christmas last year.

A fatal accident inquiry will look at the driver's medical background and technical aspects relating to the lorry.

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, who will lead the inquiry, told a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court today that it is likely to last three weeks.

Peter Gray, the solicitor acting for the council, said that could be optimistic and four is more realistic, but he "wouldn't be surprised" if it lasts five weeks.

Sheriff Principal Craig Scott today agreed to a further preliminary hearing before the inquiry begins on July 22.

Erin McQuade, 18, her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and his 69-year-old wife Lorraine, all from Dumbarton, died when the truck lost control on Queen Street on December 22.

Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when it mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

Relatives of those who died will be represented at the inquiry, as will the council, the DVLA and the bin lorry driver.

Today's hearing was also attended by a lawyer for the driver's two co-workers, who were on the truck at the time of the accident, and a representative for a GP who saw the driver in 2010.

Ms Thomson said a technical report had been completed ahead of the inquiry but the Crown is still awaiting a report relating to the "human factors" and information on the internal conversion of the lorry cab.

Lawyers for Ms Morton's family said they had further records and statements to assess following the granting of legal aid two weeks ago.

Representatives for relatives of Ms Ewing, Mr and Mrs Sweeney and Ms McQuade also told the court of difficulties in the process of accessing full legal aid.

A further preliminary hearing was set for June 18 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The inquiry will focus on the driver's medical background, his fitness to hold a licence and his employment record and training.

It will examine whether anything could have been done to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and explore the route taken by the truck.

Press Association

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