Driver of car that killed Har­low was ‘in a hurry’

Court hears Luke Pirie was on Face­time to his part­ner when ac­ci­dent hap­pened

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - JAMES MULHOLLAND

A man whose car killed a tod­dler when it struck her at 50mph spent the mo­ments be­fore the col­li­sion send­ing “an­gry” texts to his part­ner, a court has heard.

Luke Pirie, 23, was in a “hurry” when his Ford Fo­cus col­lided with two-yearold Har­low Ed­wards and her six-yearold brother and 17-year-old sis­ter on an un­clas­si­fied road close to the A94 Perth to For­far route.

Yes­ter­day the High Court in Ed­in­burgh heard Pirie had left his work at Scone Air­port at 12.30pm on Oc­to­ber 13 in a bad mood.

He had spent the morn­ing call­ing and texting his part­ner, Heather Ea­ton, who he sus­pected of be­ing un­faith­ful to him.

Af­ter leav­ing work to drive to con­front Heather at her home, he started driv­ing dan­ger­ously.

Pros­e­cu­tion lawyer Iain McS­por­ran QC told the court how he was seen over­tak­ing cars in Bal­beg­gie, at a speed that broke the 30mph limit.

He used his phone to make a Face­time call to Heather be­fore com­ing to a junc­tion with the C19 Coupar An­gus Road.

The court heard that as he came up to the junc­tion, three other cars had stopped on the road.

The Citroen at the front of the queue was in­di­cat­ing to go right.

Pirie pulled out to over­take the queue but struck the Citroen as it started to make its turn­ing ma­noeu­vre.

Pirie lost con­trol of his car, which spun across the road and struck a wall, where the Har­low sib­lings were walk­ing.

The two other young­sters were sent fly­ing over the wall.

Har­low sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries and doc­tors think her death was “in­evitable and rapid.”

Pirie, of For­far, pled guilty to caus­ing death and in­jury by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Mr McS­por­ran told the court of the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect the crash has had on the fam­ily.

He said Har­low’s mother is un­able to cope with the loss of her daugh­ter. “She has dif­fi­culty sleep­ing. “She con­stantly thinks about not be­ing with Har­low when she lost her life.

“She cries her­self to sleep in the evening.

“( Har­low’s mother) has dif­fi­culty sleep­ing. She con­stantly thinks about not be­ing with Har­low when she lost her life. IAIN MCS­POR­RAN PROS­E­CU­TION LAWYER

“She feels robbed of a life­time of mem­o­ries and she can­not put into the words to ex­actly con­vey the grief that she is cur­rently suf­fer­ing.”

Those who sur­vived the col­li­sion sus­tained brain in­juries and frac­tured bones.

Sur­geons had to place a metal plate into one child’s head.

The other is re­ported as suf­fer­ing from night­mares and anx­i­ety.

De­fence ad­vo­cate Mark Ste­wart QC told the court that he’d re­serve his mit­i­ga­tion un­til Pirie’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, which will take place at the High Court in Glas­gow next month.

He said his client had been pre­vi­ously di­ag­nosed with at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and de­pres­sion.

He added: “He ac­cepts his re­spon­si­bil­ity for his role in this of­fence.

“Mr Pirie also un­der­stands the likely out­come of his ac­tions and I’m in­structed to make no mo­tion for bail.”

Judge Lord Ericht ad­journed sen­tence in or­der for the court to ob­tain re­ports.

Pirie will be sen­tenced at the High Court in Glas­gow on Oc­to­ber 4.

Far left: Luke Pirie was driv­ing the car that struck Har­low Ed­wards, top left. Bot­tom left: Har­low’s par­ents Sara and Steven.

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