Glasgow & West Scotland

Ian McEwan's regret over death of Catherine Gibson

Lollipop sign
Image caption Mrs Gibson died after being struck by Mr McEwan's lorry

A lorry driver accused of causing the death of a lollipop lady has admitted he should have been more careful.

Ian McEwan, 66, told Glasgow Sheriff Court he had been left "devastated" by Catherine Gibson's death and accepted he should have "exercised" more care.

The 59-year-old school traffic patrol officer died after being hit by the lorry in Fielden Street, near Parkhead, in January last year.

Mr McEwan, from Newmilns, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard that at the time of the incident, Mr McEwan was travelling from Rutherglen to Bearsden after having made a delivery in his HGV lorry.

'No option'

He said he was driving along Fielden Street when the traffic lights changed, leaving him stopped over a junction.

"I found myself in the middle of the junction and I felt I had no other option but to carry on otherwise I would have been blocking the cross roads," he said.

Mr McEwan claimed he carried on forwards to clear the cross roads behind him but stopped close behind the car in front of him.

He said: "I pulled up extremely close to the lady in front of me, so as the tail end of my vehicle wasn't blocking the through road."

The court was told "a third" of the lorry's length was stopped passed the pedestrian barrier that marked the crossing.

Defence advocate Steven Love asked Mr McEwan to describe what happened as he moved away.

An emotional McEwan said: "I saw the cars in front started to move off, I put my lorry in gear, glanced in the offside drivers mirror and moved off along with the traffic.

Emergency call

"Then I heard screams and I thought it was someone maybe coming south bound, maybe hit the children at the side of the road."

He said he looked out of his window and saw Mrs Gibson's jacket under the lorry.

He added: "I realised what happened, I immediately got on the phone and dialled 999 and asked for ambulance and police to attend a road traffic accident at Fielden Street."

Mr McEwan said he moved the lorry "six or seven feet at most" from between pulling away and stopping after the accident.

Mr Love then asked: "How do you feel about the accident and what happened as a result of it?"

Mr McEwan answered: "Devastated."

The court heard that Mr McEwan only checked his driver side mirror before pulling away from the pedestrian crossing.

'More caution'

It was heard that he never checked the proximity mirror on the lorry that showed what was around the vehicle.

Under questioning from procurator fiscal depute, Imran Bashir, Mr McEwan admitted he could not see what was directly in front of the lorry.

Mr Bashir said: "I have to put to you that you should have exercised more caution and care to other road users at that time, particularly pedestrians."

Mr McEwan replied: "Yes."

The court was told the accused did not think it would be possible for anyone to come round the lorry from the passenger side because he was so close to the kerb.

Mr Bashir put to Mr McEwan that he was not "a third" over the pedestrian crossing as he claimed he was but was far enough back that pedestrians could see the green man.

Mr McEwan replied: "Where I was sitting it was impossible for me to see the green man at my left."

The trial before Sheriff Sam Cathcart continues.

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