Bin Lorry Driver 'Would Have Been Unfit To Drive'
7 August 2015, 12:31
A doctor who assessed the Glasgow bin lorry crash driver for the renewal of his HGV licence in 2011 would have deemed him temporarily unfit to drive if she had known he had fainted the year before, an inquiry has heard.
Harry Clarke, 58, was driving the council truck in the city centre on December 22 last year when it went out of control, killing six people, with witnesses reporting that he appeared to lose consciousness at the wheel.
Dr Joanne Willox told the fatal accident inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court that she saw Mr Clarke on 6 December 2011 at the request of his employer Glasgow City Council to complete an HGV renewal application form with him which was to be submitted to the DVLA.
On the form, the question "is there a history of blackouts or impaired consciousness in the last five years?'' was ticked No.
The inquiry has previously heard that Mr Clarke fainted at the wheel of a stationary bus in April 2010.
The question of whether there is a history of "sudden and disabling dizziness or vertigo'' in the last year is also ticked No.
The inquiry has been told Mr Clarke has a history of health issues including fainting and dizziness dating back to the 1970s.
Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, who is leading the inquiry, asked: "If you had been told by Mr Clarke at that stage 'I fainted in April 2010', what would you have done?''
She replied: "I would have made him temporarily unfit for work as a driver, flagged it up to the DVLA , asked for his consent to write to his GP about what investigation had been done and to provide records of that.
"I would have told the city council he was not fit to drive and it would depend on the DVLA to decide about his licence.''
Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, died from multiple injuries after being hit by the truck.
Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed as the lorry travelled out of control along Queen Street and towards George Square before crashing in to the side of the Millennium Hotel.