Bin lorry crash driver admits reckless driving charge

Thursday, February 23, 2017

 

The driver of the bin lorry that crashed in Glasgow killing six people in 2014 has admitted culpable and reckless driving in a separate incident.

 

Harry Clarke, 60, had his licence withdrawn for medical reasons in the months following the bin lorry crash on 22 December 2014.

 

Clarke pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to driving a car in the city to the danger of the public, despite having lost his licence for medical reasons.

 

It was revoked after a fatal accident inquiry into the crash in December when he blacked out and his refuse lorry careered across George Square. He had admitted driving in the knowledge he had suffered a loss of consciousness while at the wheel.

 

The incident resulted in the death of 6 people and leaving 15 others injured.

 

He had also knew he had suffered a loss of consciousness or episode of altered awareness while at the wheel of a stationary bus on April 7, 2010.

 

Clarke saw his licence revoked for 12 months on June 27, 2015 and the charge states that he knew or ought to have known that he was unfit to drive, and that there was a risk he might lose consciousness or suffer an episode of altered awareness while driving.

 

Mark Allan, prosecuting, said neighbours contacted the police after watching him drive his white Corsa out of the car park before returning later that evening.

 

Two days later Clarke was cautioned and charged by police and claimed he had only moved the vehicle in the private car park.

 

He later phoned his insurance company and said he had moved the car back and forward “just to kind of keep the wheels turning a wee bit.”

 

The charge also states that he knew he had suffered a loss of consciousness while at the wheel of a stationary bus on April 7, 2010.

 

Clarke will be sentenced next month for the “culpable and reckless” driving offence, which was committed on the city’s Buchanan Street where his lorry crashed.

 

He was not prosecuted over the bin lorry crash after the Crown Office insisted there was insufficient evidence to raise criminal proceedings. 

 

However, the FAI that followed the crash heard that he had a long history of health issues which he had not disclosed to his employers or the DVLA.

 

A sheriff ruled after the injury that the tragedy could have been avoided if he had told the truth.

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