Tayside and Central Scotland

Lorry driver Frank Simpson sentenced for A9 layby crash death

Frank Simpson Image copyright PPA
Image caption Frank Simpson could offer no explanation for his loss of control

A lorry driver who killed another motorist by drifting off the A9 and smashing into his parked car in a lay-by been sentenced to 300 hours of unpaid work.

Frank Simpson veered off the road at 50mph in an 18-tonne lorry and failed to slow down before smashing into John Trimble's parked Vauxhall Corsa.

Simpson, who admitted causing death by careless driving, only braked after hitting Mr Simpson's car.

He was also given a six-month curfew.

In addition, the 35-year-old, from Edinburgh, was disqualified from driving for 30 months and ordered to re-sit the extended driving test.

Sheriff William Wood told Perth Sheriff Court that the offence was in the mid-range of careless driving.

'No mechanical defects'

The court heard previously that Simpson was driving a refrigerated HGV for DHL and heading to the Vue Cinema in Inverness when the crash happened on 4 November 2014.

Fiscal depute Sue Ruta said Mr Trimble was parked in layby 33 on the northbound carriageway of the A9 at 07:50. He was wearing his seatbelt.

Ms Ruta told the court: "A witness observed the accused's lorry start to drift slowly to the left towards the entrance of the layby.

"That witness had a clear view of the lorry and could see the car parked in the layby. He thought the lorry was going to hit the car because it did not slow down and the brake lights did not come on.

"He saw the accused's lorry plough into the back of the car, propelling it into the air. He saw it turn over before coming to rest on its roof."

Mr Trimble was declared dead at the scene.

Ms Ruta said the lorry's tacograph showed it had gradually slowed down before the impact, but the brakes were only applied two seconds after the vehicles collided.

"There were no mechanical defects. The driver would have had a clear view of the layby for 32 seconds before impact.

'Catastrophic consequences'

Simpson's solicitor Gary Foulis said: "He is truly and deeply remorseful for what's happened here.

"He fully understands and comprehends the catastrophic consequences of his actions.

"There is understanding on his part of the devastating impact it will have on the victim's family."

Sheriff Wood said: "It's certainly nowhere near dangerous driving, yet it's not simply momentary inattention, because there was 32 seconds where he should have seen the vehicle.

"These are serious matters. You caused the death of a man who was in the prime of his family life.

"This was a man with very close relationships to his three daughters and son, and a wife and grandchildren.

"You have denied all of those generations a future with John Trimble.

"You will need to live with that. It will not be an easy thing for you to deal with."

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