‘Black­out’ con­cern

Driver suf­fered from seizures

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS - Court reporter

A driver who can fall asleep at any minute caused alarm when he weaved from lane to lane on a busy mo­tor­way.

David Col­lum had been re­ferred to a brain spe­cial­ist just days ear­lier and knew that he shouldn’t have been be­hind the wheel.

To make mat­ters worse, he was sup­posed to be serv­ing a driv­ing ban at the time.

For­tu­nately, no one was in­jured as Col­lum man­aged to drive 18 miles from Whit­burn in West Loth­ian to Mother­well be­fore po­lice caught up with him.

Col­lum (29), of Lib­erty Road in Bell­shill, ap­peared at Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court on Fri­day. He ad­mit­ted culpable and reck­less con­duct by driv­ing on the M8 and in Merry Street, Mother­well, on May 20 while know­ing he was prone to episodes of los­ing con­scious­ness. Col­lum also ad­mit­ted driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied.

The court heard he was seen driv­ing at ex­cess speed, swerv­ing across the mo­tor­way lanes and at one point veer­ing on to the grass verge.

Cal­lum Forsyth, pros­e­cut­ing, hap­pened on a Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Re­tired po­lice of­fi­cer An­drew Hack­ett was driv­ing a minibus of Bel­gian tourists from Ed­in­burgh Air­port when he no­ticed Col­lum’s Ford Fi­esta be­ing driven in an “er­ratic” man­ner. said it

Mr Forsyth told the court: “He was so con­cerned he di­alled 999 and pro­vided the po­lice with up­dates, fol­low­ing the Fi­esta to Mother­well.

“Traf­fic of­fi­cers then lo­cated it at a car wash in Merry Street.

“Col­lum said he had been work­ing in Ed­in­burgh and was in Mother­well to pick up his girl­friend.”

And Mr Forsyth added: “Po­lice didn’t form the view that he was in any way in­tox­i­cated, but checks re­vealed he was a dis­qual­i­fied driver and he was ar­rested.

“Then he told of­fi­cers he suf­fered from seizures and might have blacked out while he was driv­ing.

“Fur­ther in­quiries es­tab­lished that 10 days be­fore this he had been at his GP to com­plain about black­outs. The GP had re­ferred him to a neu­rol­o­gist.”

De­fence agent Vin­cent Mcgovern said Col­lum was ex­am­ined by a neu­rol­o­gist at Wishaw Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in June.

The so­lic­i­tor added: “The spe­cial­ist was un­able to make a de­fin­i­tive di­ag­no­sis, but be­lieved he could have a con­di­tion that causes him to fall asleep with­out warn­ing.

“A sub­se­quent MRI scan re­turned clear, but there is still no di­ag­no­sis.

“He has been re­ferred to a sleep clinic in Glas­gow.”

Sen­tence on Col­lum, who has been in cus­tody since his ar­rest, was de­ferred un­til Septem­ber 26 and he re­mains be­hind bars.

He has been re­ferred to a sleep clinic

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