Glasgow & West Scotland

Pedestrian David Young 'thrown in air by car' in Scotstoun

David Young
Image caption David Young died at the scene of the crash

A man accused of causing the death of a pedestrian by dangerous driving has claimed in court that his car reacted as if it had "a mind of its own".

Arthur MacVean, 63, denies speeding in the Scotstoun area of Glasgow on 1 June 2010 and causing the death of 26-year-old David Young.

He told the High Court in Glasgow that his car "seemed to get faster" and "did not respond" to attempts to control it.

Mr Young died at the scene of the crash in Dane Drive.

Mr MacVean is alleged to have driven along the 30mph road at speeds of up to 65mph and collided with a wall before hitting Mr Young.

'Gain speed'

He told the court that he used the foot brake and handbrake and put the Vauxhall Vectra into neutral but these actions did not slow it down.

He said that as he approached the junction with Victoria Drive the car sped up and added: "It seemed to get faster.

"I remember the car going very, very fast. It seemed to gain speed quite dramatically. I looked down briefly to see if the accelerator was struck down by a floor mat, but it wasn't."

The court heard that MacVean, from Scotstoun, had been returning from a trip to the shops to buy honey and a packet of biscuits at 16:25 when the accident happened.

He was asked by defence QC Donald Findlay: "Did you apply the foot brake?" and he replied: "Yes. On a number of occasions. It wasn't slowing it down. It seemed as if the engine was over riding the brakes."

Mr MacVean then said that he had also applied the handbrake.

Mr Findlay then asked: "Did this seem to have any effect on the vehicle," and Mr MacVean replied: "None whatsoever."

He said he did not remember changing gear after changing down to second approaching the lights at the corner of Danes Drive and Queen Victoria Drive.

But he added that he had put the car into neutral and it had had no effect.

Mr MacVean claimed that even when he put the car into neutral it was still transmitting power to the wheels and added: "It seemed to be reacting as if it had a mind of its own. That's the impression I had. I thought the electronic throttle was jammed.

'Something wrong'

"The car did not respond to what I wanted to do with it. I was attempting to analyse the problem and there was something wrong with the throttle and transmission.

"I was battling to control the car. It was a very dangerous situation I was in. My foot wasn't on the accelerator. My feet were on the clutch and brake."

Mr MacVean was asked by prosecutor Jamie Gilchrist QC if he had made up a story about there being something wrong with the car to explain what happened and he replied: "It's not something I would invent."

Mr Gilchrist then said: "Are you sure there was something wrong with the car?" and Mr MacVean replied: "Yes."

Mr MacVean is accused of causing the death of Mr Young by driving dangerously at speeds in excess of 65 mph, overtaking a car stopped at a red light, mounting a kerb, striking a wall, colliding with Mr Young and then hitting a lamp post and a tree.

He denies the charge. The trial before judge Lord Brailsford continues.

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