In­quiry is held into A75 fa­tal

The Galloway News - - NEWS -

A care worker who died in a two-ve­hi­cle smash may have suf­fered a heart at­tack be­fore the im­pact, a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry has heard.

James Penny was re­turn­ing with a hand­i­capped adult ser­vice- user from a visit to an eques­trian cen­tre near Locker­bie when he crossed on to the op­po­site car­riage­way of the A75 near Cas­tle Dou­glas and col­lided with a van in February last year.

He was con­scious when res­cuers reached him and was able to ask for help as he lay trapped by the steer­ing col­umn and dash­board in his car.

But Mr Penny, 55, of Port Street, Dal­beat­tie – who was de­scribed as a “well val­ued em­ployee” – died at the scene an hour later de­spite a fight by paramedics to save him.

His 25-year-old pas­sen­ger, who had been in the front pas­sen­ger seat, and the van driver were both taken to Dum­fries In­fir­mary for treat­ment to in­juries.

The in­quiry – held at Dum­fries – was told the sole cause of the ac­ci­dent was the Corsa that was be­ing driven by Mr Penny en­ter­ing the other lane and col­lid­ing with the van, leav­ing nei­ther driver with time to avoid the col­li­sion.

In a state­ment read to the in­quiry it was said Mr Penny had been a so­cial worker with Dum­fries and Gal­loway Coun­cil and ful­filled all the re­quire­ments needed for the job.

He had been work­ing from Dun­muir Park at Cas­tle Dou­glas and was re­turn­ing there with the ser­viceuser when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

A state­ment given by van driver Steven Jack­son was also read to the in­quiry.

It said: “I was driv­ing along the road to Dum­fries … next thing I knew was the noise of a col­li­sion.

“I haven’t a clue about how the col­li­sion hap­pened – I re­mem­ber slid­ing down the bank­ing and com­ing to a stop, then it was just the pain.”

A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion dis­cov­ered Mr Penny had been suf­fer­ing from a heart con­di­tion.

It con­cluded: “It may be that he had a pri­mary car­diac event due to heart dis­ease which led to the col­li­sion.”

The cause of death was given as heart dis­ease and ab­dom­i­nal in­juries.

Sher­iff Brian Mo­han re­turned a for­mal ver­dict.

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