Glasgow & West Scotland

Asleep at wheel driver jailed for three years over death

Alisdair Grant Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Alisdair Grant had recently completed a ban for drink driving when he caused the fatal crash

A student who fell asleep at the wheel of a car following a night of partying has been jailed for three years after he admitted killing another driver.

Alisdair Grant, 21, from Kilmarnock, crashed his brother's Fiat Punto into Gerry Lewis's Suzuki Jimny on the A719, near Waterside in East Ayrshire, on 2 March 2014.

The 54-year-old, who was travelling with his wife Sarah, died at the scene.

Grant admitted causing his death by dangerous driving.

He had previously served a 12-month drink driving ban which finished in December 2013.

'Cavalier attitude'

At the High Court in Glasgow, Grant's lawyer asked for him not to be jailed but judge Lord Boyd ruled that out and told him "a life had been taken" by what he had done that day.

The judge added he had displayed "a cavalier attitude", when he got behind the wheel, having recently been convicted of drink-driving.

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Mark McGuire told the court: "Text messages recovered from his mobile phone sent that day indicate he had been partying heavily the night before.

"Around two hours before the collision - in response to someone asking if he was fit to drive - he replied he thought he would be soon.

"The texts made it clear that Grant was tired."

Mr Lewis had been travelling with his wife to see his widowed mother in Glasgow.

The court was told that as the two vehicles approached, Grant's Fiat drifted "without warning" into the path of Mr Lewis's car.

'Significant damage'

The advocate depute went on: "From what Mrs Lewis could see, there was no attempt to brake by Grant. He had fallen asleep at the wheel."

The smash caused "significant damage" to both cars.

Mrs Lewis looked at her husband and immediately saw he had been badly hurt.

The lawyer continued: "She shouted for help, pleading for people to assist her husband."

Other drivers came to their aid before police and ambulance crews arrived.

The couple were initially trapped in the car. Mr Lewis had to be cut free from the wreckage, but he never recovered.

Mr Lewis, who had worked for North Lanarkshire Council for 20 years, died due to chest and abdominal injuries.

The court heard his loss had been "profound" for Mrs Lewis.

The prosecutor added: "Gerry Lewis was a much-loved husband and family man. His wife and and wider family miss him dearly."

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