Glasgow & West Scotland

Bus driver Gary Kearney sentenced over Beata Torz death crash

A bus driver who admitted running over and killing a woman in Glasgow has been given 270 hours community service.

Gary Kearney's double decker bus struck Beata Torz as she crossed Carntyne Road, at its junction with Duke Street, on 15 December 2010.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention and causing Ms Torz's death.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Kearney was also disqualified from driving for a period of 15 months.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Sam Cathcart told Kearney: "The charge to which you have pled guilty is clearly a serious matter. You failed to make proper observations turning onto Duke Street.

Victim blame

"Had you carried out proper observations you would have seen and could have avoided Ms Torz."

The sheriff added: "I was told on the last occasion by the Crown some blame falls to be borne by Ms Torz in that she chose to cross the road at a point which was unsuitable while wearing dark clothing."

The sheriff also acknowledged there was a pedestrian crossing 10 yards away from where she chose to cross.

A previous hearing was told that Kearney had been driving the bus between Easterhouse and Faifley. At about 19:50, the vehicle was travelling towards the junction at Duke Street.

Procurator fiscal depute Adam Roberts said: "He had a clear view from his cab. As he approached the junction of Carntyne Road at Duke Street, because of the size of the vehicle, he used both lanes to enable him to turn right.

"At the junction he slowed down and stopped and he carried out checks for oncoming traffic.

"In his words he 'looked out, nothing, looked right, nothing, double checked again, nothing'."

The court heard Ms Torz was crossing the road wearing dark clothing and was not seen by Kearney as he pulled out onto the road.

Bang heard

Mr Roberts added: "As the accused drove forwards he heard a bang coming from underneath the bus.

"He brought the vehicle to a halt and got out."

When he looked underneath the bus he saw Ms Torz lying motionless.

She had been knocked to the ground by the front of the bus and killed when the front left wheel ran over her.

Kearney later told police that he had not worked any overtime and had sufficient sleep and breaks.

Crash investigators produced a report which found that both Ms Torz and Kearney were to blame, as she had chosen to cross where it was unsafe.

Mr Roberts told the court: "However, Gary Kearney failed to take proper observations before turning onto Duke Street.

"Despite the fact that the deceased was wearing dark clothing and crossing away from a pool of light cast by the street lamp, she should have been visible in the vehicle's headlights had the driver looked properly."

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