South Scotland

Eaglesfield crash driver who caused friend's death is jailed

Thomas Curry Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Thomas Curry was jailed for six years at the High Court in Livingston

A dangerous driver who caused the death of his friend in a motorway crash has been jailed for six years.

Thomas Curry, 41, claimed he had fallen asleep at the wheel before crashing into the back of a lorry on the A74(M) near Eaglesfield in July 2017.

He and his passenger Robert Sharp, 50, of Maryhill in Glasgow, suffered head injuries and Mr Sharp later died.

Curry, of Callander, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was jailed at the High Court in Livingston.

The court had heard how Curry's grey Peugeot 307 was clocked doing 90mph shortly before the fatal crash in Dumfries and Galloway.

He had earlier caused another driver to brake sharply and drive onto the central reservation to avoid him when he suddenly changed lane.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Robert Sharp was taken by air ambulance to hospital but was later pronounced dead

Another motorist was so concerned by Curry's driving that he phoned his work to ask them to contact the police.

Seven miles further down the motorway, he drifted across three lanes and collided with the back of the trailer attached to a lorry.

His car left the road and went up a grass embankment before hitting a wooden fence.

Mr Sharp, a front seat passenger, was taken to hospital by air ambulance but was later pronounced dead.

Solicitor advocate Marco Guarino, defending, said Curry had been "utterly traumatised" by the crash and the loss of his friend.

He said: "He apologises to the family in this open forum. He sorely misses his friend.

"He's horrified that his actions have led to this."

'Devastated and bereft'

He told the court his client had "very little recollection" of the incident.

"Quite clearly his position is he's fallen asleep," he said.

"He was very tired that afternoon and did feel tired on the journey."

Passing sentence, judge Lady Scott told Curry he had admitted causing death by driving dangerously as part of a "prolonged and persistent" episode of bad driving which involved travelling at high speed.

She said Mr Sharp's family had been left "devastated and bereft".

Taking into account all factors, including his early plea of guilty, she sentenced him to six years in prison and disqualified him from driving or applying for a driving licence for seven years.

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