Lorry driver jailed over fatal head-on crash in Girvan
A delivery driver who caused the death of a retired social worker in a head-on crash has been jailed for three years.
John Dale, 43, was told by judge Lord Mulholland that he had "shattered the lives" of Mary Fulton's family. He added that victim impact statements from them were 'heart-wrenching".
Dale, a father-of three from Greenock, was banned from driving for 10 years.
Lord Mulholland told him: "You drove your HGV erratically for 500 metres and 28 seconds. You are entirely to blame."
Dale previously admitted causing Ms Fulton's death by dangerous driving.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that he already had convictions for careless and drink driving in 2010 when he drove into a wall.
Wrong side of road
Dale's delivery lorry ploughed into the 67-year-old's Skoda Yeti on the A77 near Girvan, Ayrshire, in November 2017.
Seconds earlier he had clipped another car driven by an 85-year-old woman.
The court heard how his lorry had drifted onto the wrong side of the road, leading people in the car behind to think he was asleep. This was later discounted.
Ms Fulton, a grandmother from Girvan, died at the scene from her injuries.
The court heard that Dale rushed over to try to help her but it became clear that she had already died.
Dale was found to be "in shock" and "hyper-ventilating". He went on to tell another driver: "I did not see her."
Advocate Euan Dow, defending, said: "It is Mr Dale's belief that he was unconscious in the seconds before the accident.
"He became aware that something was wrong when he heard what sounded like an explosion," he said.
Mr Dow said that at first Dale thought his lorry had blown up and added: "It was only when he got out his vehicle he realised there had been a collision."
The advocate said Dale had been diagnosed with post-trauma stress syndrome and had repeatedly expressed remorse. He said he also suffered flashbacks and had difficulty sleeping.
The court heard that potential factors - such as being asleep at the wheel or using a mobile - had been discounted.
Checks were also made to find out if Dale had an undiagnosed medical condition, but this was also ruled out.
Lord Mulholland told him: "You have visited a life sentence of loss and grief on Mary Fulton's family and you will have to live with that for the rest of your life."