Driver admitsto killing Harlow
A texting and speeding driver has admitted running down and killing a toddler as she walked home from an east Perthshire playpark with her big sister and a five-year-old boy.
Luke Pirie crashed into little Harlow Edwards at 50mph as he was sending “angry” texts to his partner.
The 23-year-old was racing to confront the woman when his Ford Focus careered into the two-year-old and the two others yards from their home in Coupar Angus.
Witnesses told how Harlow’s teenage sister Dionne and the boy – who can’t be named for legal reasons – were hurled more than 30ft over a wall in the incident close to the A94.
Harlow was the youngest of five children. Her mum Sara (36) and dad Steven (39) had to identify her body after the tragedy last October.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard on Friday how Pirie left his work at Scone Airport at 12.30pm in a bad mood.
He suspected his girlfriend had been having an affair and had spent the morning calling and texting her.
Advocate depute Iain McSporran QC told the court Pirie was seen overtaking cars in Balbeggie at a speed which broke the 30mph limit.
He used his iPhone to make a Facetime call to his girlfriend just seconds before the impact.
Pirie tried to overtake three cars but struck a Citroen before ploughing on to the pavement and into Harlow, Dionne and the boy.
Crash investigators estimated his speed to be about 50mph.
Mr McSporran said of Harlow’s mum Sara: “She cries herself to sleep in the evening. She feels robbed of a lifetime of memories and she cannot put into words how to exactly convey the grief that she is suffering.”
The lawyer was speaking after Pirie, of Forfar, pleaded guilty to causing death and injury by dangerous driving.
He told the court that Pirie appeared “worked up” as he spoke on his mobile phone.
After the crash, Pirie denied he was at fault claiming the victims had walked out in front of him.
But expert evidence and eyewitness accounts contradicted this and attributed “sole responsibility for the collision to the accused”.
Pirie will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on October 4.
Speeding Luke Pirie