Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow bin lorry crash: No DVLA prosecution of driver

Harry Clarke and crashed bin lorry Image copyright Various
Image caption The inquiry has heard allegations Mr Clarke lied about his medical history to doctors, the DVLA and his employer

The Glasgow bin lorry crash inquiry has heard that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will not seek to prosecute the driver, Harry Clarke.

The inquiry, into the deaths of six people, has heard that Mr Clarke lied on health assessments and to the DVLA about a blackout incident in 2010.

Scottish prosecutors ruled out action but the DVLA left the possibility open.

Dr Wyn Parry, chief medical adviser to the DVLA, has now told the inquiry the agency will not prosecute Mr Clarke.

The inquiry has already heard that Mr Clarke, 58, was unconscious during the crash.

Alleged lies

It has also heard that he lied about a previous blackout in 2010, while employed as a bus driver, in health assessment forms when he applied for a LGV licence from the Swansea-based DVLA.

He was also said to have lied about his medical history when applying for a job as a driver with Glasgow City Council.

On Wednesday, Dr Parry told the inquiry, at Glasgow Sheriff Court, that a prosecution of Mr Clarke in England and Wales over alleged non-disclosure of health matters related to his LGV licence was "under consideration."

During his second day of evidence he said that the DVLA would not pursue charges and would respect the decision of the Crown Office in Scotland not to prosecute.

Image caption (Clockwise from top left) Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Erin McQuade, Jacqueline Morton, Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing were killed in the crash

Lawyers for families of the six victims have still to clarify whether they will pursue a private prosecution against Mr Clarke.

Earlier, Dr Parry told the inquiry that the DVLA system, relating to the self-declaration and discovery of relevant health issues among drivers, had a "weakness".

He said it exposed applicants "to a huge level of temptation".

The inquiry has previously heard that applicants for a LGV licence can choose to go to their own GP or to an occupational health doctor appointed by the company they work for.

Medical records

During this process, an applicant's medical records are not usually available to an occupational health doctor.

Dr Parry agreed one solution would be for applicants to be required to give permission for their medical records to be made available to examining doctors.

He said another potential solution would be for the occupational health doctor doing the medical to check with the applicant's GP.

The witness said that the current system could be looked at again.

The FAI has been looking at the circumstances which led to the bin lorry veering out of control on Queen Street on 22 December last year.

The vehicle killed six people and injured 15 others before crashing into the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

The inquiry continues.

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