Driver of car that killed Harlow was ‘in a hurry’
Court hears Luke Pirie was on Facetime to his partner when accident happened
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.