Driver culpable over fatal crash
A Cambuslang delivery driver smashed head-on into a BMW killing the driver after overtaking a car slowing down to turn right, a court was told.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Ronald Bridges, 59, of Cairnswell Avenue, Cambuslang, admitted causing the death of a 55-year-old man by careless driving on the A77 south of Ballantrae, Ayrshire, on August 10, 2016.
Mr Bridges, a delivery driver for Stapleton’s Tyres, was originally charged with death by dangerous driving, but he admitted the reduced charge of death by careless driving.
The court heard that Bridges was unable to stop in time behind a Toyota Land Cruiser, which was turning right.
He pulled out onto the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with the silver BMW being driven by Michael Laverty.
Prosecutor Iain McSporran said: “The driving can be considered to fall below the required standard, but not sufficiently far below to met the definition of dangerous driving. It could be characterised as momentary inattention.
“At around 1.42pm, Mr Laverty’s car was struck essentially head-on by the lorry being driven by Mr Bridges.
“There was nothing which Mr Laverty could have done to anticipate or avoid the collision, nor was there any fault or error on his part.”
The court heard that Mr Laverty, who had been driving home, died at the scene from multiple injuries to his chest and abdomen.
Mr McSporran added: “As the driver of a black Toyota Land Cruiser slowed down to turn right she was suddenly aware of the lorry overtaking her. Almost simultaneously the lorry collided with the oncoming BMW.
“The accused ought to have seen and reacted to the presence of the slowing vehicle ahead, but reacted too late. Upon realising the Land Cruiser was in his path he reacted by braking and steering onto the opposing lane with fatal consequences. His delayed reaction in avoiding one serious collision resulted in another.”
Bridges told a paramedic at the scene: “Come across a stationary vehicle in the road and swerved to avoid it.”
The court was told Bridges appeared to be alert, uninjured, but confused and very upset.
Judge Lady Stacey was shown twominute video footage filmed from inside Bridges’ lorry which showed the fatal collision.
Defence counsel Susan Duff Said: “This is a tragic case. Mr Bridges has expressed his sadness for Mr Laverty’s death and his involvement in that.
“He says he plays the accident over every day in his head. He has no previous convictions. He has been married for 36 years and is a carer for his wife.”
Lady Stacey continued bail for Bridges and deferred sentence until next month to obtain background reports.
She also disqualified him from driving in the interim.
This is a tragic case. Mr Bridges has expressed his sadness for Mr Laverty’s death and his involvement in that.