Bin Lorry Driver To Give Evidence
20 August 2015, 06:16
The driver of the bin lorry that crashed in Glasgow killing six people is due to give evidence to an inquiry into the tragedy.
Harry Clarke, 58, will be called to give evidence today after a motion to adjourn the fatal accident inquiry was withdrawn by the family of one of the victims.
However, the inquiry heard on Wednesday that the prospect of a private prosecution remains and Mr Clarke would be entitled not to answer any question that might incriminate him.
Relatives of Jacqueline Morton, 51, who died when the council refuse truck veered out of control in the city centre three days before Christmas, said on Monday they would seek to bring charges against Mr Clarke after prosecutors ruled out doing so.
Their legal team requested the inquiry be adjourned in order to seek authority to bring a rare private prosecution against him.
But Dorothy Bain QC, representing the family of Ms Morton, told the inquiry on Wednesday that the motion for an adjournment had been dropped.
She said the family felt it was in the best interests of everyone to conclude the inquiry "without delay'' but confirmed they still intend to continue to pursue a private prosecution against Mr Clarke.
Ms Bain said the scope of that had not yet been analysed "to any significant degree'', but she presented a table to the inquiry setting out possible charges, including causing death by dangerous driving, making false declarations to the DVLA and culpable and reckless conduct.
Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, who is leading the inquiry, said: "He is entitled to have a warning in relation to the full scope of the evidence and in my submission he would be entitled to have regard to that warning and not answer anything beyond his name, age and occupation.''
But the inquiry, now in its fifth week at Glasgow Sheriff Court, was told Mr Clarke could choose to answer any questions that were put to him.
Ms Thomson said: "I intend to ask him every single matter whether I get an answer or not and that may take some time.''
Mr Clarke was behind the wheel of the truck that lost control on Queen Street on December 22.
Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, Stephenie Tait, 29, from Glasgow, and 52-year-old Gillian Ewing, from Edinburgh, were also killed in the accident which saw the lorry career into George Square and crash into the side of a hotel.
The inquiry has heard evidence that Mr Clarke has a history of dizzy spells and fainting which he failed to disclose to the DVLA and on job application forms.
He is the only witness remaining to give evidence.
Mr Clarke's solicitor Paul Reid said he had not had the opportunity to consult with his client or take his instructions on the latest development and asked the inquiry for time to do so this morning.
Sheriff John Beckett adjourned until 11am.