Glasgow & West Scotland

Robert Brown admits guilt for Scott Prior and Mark McColl crash deaths

A bricklayer has admitted causing the deaths of two colleagues by dangerous driving in a head-on crash in Argyll.

Robert Brown, 65, overtook traffic and smashed his van into a concrete mixer on the A83 at Cairndow, near Loch Fyne, on 12 February last year.

He suffered a spinal injury but Scott Prior, 20, and 24-year-old Mark McColl died at the scene from head injuries.

At the High Court in Glasgow, sentence on Brown was deferred. He was granted bail and ordered not to drive.

The court heard that the crash happened at about 16:30 as all three men were returning home after working in Oban.

Overtaking manoeuvre

Brown's Peugeot Expert van was in a line of traffic heading south.

The driver of a flatbed truck behind him pulled out and overtook him and three other vehicles.

Brown tried a similar overtaking manoeuvre but ran out of road on a left hand bend with a restricted view of oncoming traffic.

The court heard how the passenger side of his van struck the passenger side of the oncoming concrete mixer.

The van left the road and rotated in the air before landing on the driver's side and coming to a halt on the shore of Loch Fyne.

'Messed up'

The impact of the collision was such that Mr Prior, from Dumbarton, and Mr McColl, from Bonhill, both died at the scene from massive head injuries.

Brown, from Renton, had to be cut out of the wreckage by firefighters and suffered a spinal fracture.

The court heard that he told one of the firefighters: "I've messed up here."

Defence counsel Thomas Ross said: "Mr Brown wishes to express his sincere apologies to the family of Mr Prior and Mr McColl."

Judge Lord Turnbull deferred sentence on first offender Brown until next month at the High Court at Perth for background reports.

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