Glasgow & West Scotland

Lorry driver admits causing Archibald Graham's death

A lorry driver who admitted causing another man's death by driving carelessly has been given community service.

Andrew Dominick, 64, from Greenock, was blinded by the sun when his truck hit 68-year-old Archibald Graham's stranded car in Renfrewshire on 7 May 2013.

He admitted causing Mr Graham's death by driving carelessly and failing to observe his vehicle.

Dominick was sentenced to 170 hours of community service.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how Mr Graham had called his son to say his vehicle had run out of fuel and come to a sudden halt on the A737 dual carriageway near St James' Interchange.

The phone connection was terminated when Dominick's HGV truck hit the stationary car while travelling at more than 50mph. Mr Graham suffered serious internal injuries.

Weather conditions

Depute fiscal Amanada Gallagher said that the accused had left the Malcolm's transport depot nearby minutes earlier and was travelling east on the A737 directly into low early morning sunlight.

Mr Graham's car was partially on the grass verge and partially on the carriageway when impact occurred. Dominick told police he had not seen it as he had been blinded by the sun.

In court, Dominick admitted causing the other man's death by driving carelessly and failing to observe his vehicle, as he had not kept a proper lookout given the prevailing weather conditions.

Mr Graham had left his home in Ayrshire to go to work in his Ford Ranger at 05:30. The collision happened 20 minutes later.

Emergency services freed Mr Graham and took him to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

It was concluded that the blame lay primarily with Dominick, given the low-level sun which resulted in him failing to see the vehicle on the carriageway ahead of him.

CCTV footage taken from the cab of the lorry also showed that there had been condensation on the inside of the lorry's windscreen.

'Heartfelt remorse'

Defence agent Lindsay MacNeill said that her client wished to express deep remorse to the family of the dead man.

She stressed that the condensation was below the driver's sight line and around the edges of the windscreen.

Sheriff Seith Ireland had previously deferred sentence and called for background reports to be prepared.

Dominick's solicitor stressed that her client had worked all his life, had a good driving record and had been held in high regard by his employer.

"He has been deeply traumatised by this experience and expresses heartfelt remorse," she said.

Sheriff Ireland said he had given the case careful consideration and decided, in the circumstances, that custody could be avoided.

He sentenced Dominick to a community payback order requiring him to complete 170 hours of unpaid hours in a 12-month period.

Dominick was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to resit his test before resuming driving.

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