Glasgow & West Scotland

Jury hears Rangers fans' bus driver was 'going too fast'

Ryan Baird Image copyright PoliceScotland/RyanRowe
Image caption Ryan Baird died in the crash as fans made their way to the Rangers v Partick Thistle game

A police investigator has told a jury that the Rangers supporters' bus crash which killed a fan was caused by the driver going too fast.

Sandy Murray, of Police Scotland's road policing unit, said the bus' tachograph showed the speed it was going.

At one point, it was travelling at 73mph - when the limit for buses on the A76 is 50mph, he said.

Callum Phillips, 49, denies killing Ryan Baird, 39, by dangerous driving on 1 October, 2016.

Mr Phillips, from Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway, is alleged to have caused the Nith Valley Rangers supporters bus to crash at the Crossroads roundabout, near Kilmarnock.

Tyre marks

Mr Baird, from Sanquhar, died after becoming trapped in the wreckage.

He and 36 fellow Rangers fans were travelling to Glasgow for a home match against Partick Thistle.

PC Murray, who was a police collision investigator from 2007 until 2017, told the High Court in Glasgow about the findings from the tachograph.

The jury was told that as the bus travelled from Thornhill towards Kilmarnock, picking up Rangers fans en route, it was frequently well above the 50mph limit.

Image copyright Google
Image caption A police investigator said the crash at Crossroads roundabout was caused by the driver going too fast

Between noon and 12:03; 12:20 and 12:45; and 12:53 and 13:00 it was travelling in excess of 62mph.

Mr Murray said: "At 12:24 it reached a maximum speed of 73mph."

The police officer said in his opinion Mr Phillips had applied the brakes as he approached the roundabout and this caused the near offside wheels to lock approximately 50m (164ft) from the roundabout junction.

He said tyre marks found on the road demonstrated that the brakes were working.

Mr Murray added: "Mr Baird was standing in the aisle at the rear of the bus. He was found under the nearside of the bus, having been partially ejected via a broken window.

"The collision was the result of Callum Phillips driving the bus in excess of the speed that was safe to negotiate Crossroads Roundabout.

"He was regularly driving in excess of the maximum speed limit and the wheel marks on the road show that he braked successfully."

The police officer added: "This collision was the result of Callum Phillips driving at speed which was inappropriate for the road layout."

The trial before judge Lady Stacey continues.

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