Glasgow & West Scotland

Injured Gillian Kay recalls fatal 140mph crash on A77

Gillian Kay and Joan Price
Image caption Gillian Kay was badly injured in the crash which claimed the life of her friend, Joan Price

A woman who was badly hurt in a high-speed crash in which her friend was killed has spoken of the "massive impact" it has had on her life.

Gillian Kay has yet to recover from the injuries she sustained in the collision on the A77 in Ayrshire 14 months ago.

She was a passenger in a car driven by Joan Price, who died in the crash, and she is now campaigning to have speed cameras fitted on the road.

Two men were jailed for their part in causing the 140mph fatal smash.

Ms Kay told BBC Radio Scotland's Kaye Adams programme that the collision happened as she travelled home from band practice with her friend.

She said her memories of the night were "like a black and white film" and she only remembers "little snippets" of what happened.

She remembers a dark shape heading towards their car at an "incredibly fast speed", shortly after they joined the A77.

But she does not recall the collision itself. Her first memory was the smell of smoke.

"My seat had broken in the impact as well so I was almost lying backwards in the car," she said.

"The first thing I remember was smelling smoke. I panicked and I remember undoing my seatbelt to try and push myself up to get out of the car, which obviously I couldn't do.

"I then realised there was no sign of any fire and it was just smoke from the air bags."

She quickly realised that Mrs Price, a 59-year-old grandmother who lived in Troon, had not survived the collision.

"Pretty much after the impact I looked over at her and I saw her slumped forward in her seat," Ms Kay said.

"Then there was a couple of passers-by who had stopped who were in the car who were trying to assist her. I think I was aware quite early on that she had died."

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Joan Price was killed in the crash which happened as they travelled home from band practice

The crash was caused by Logan Knox, of Coylton, and John Gribben, of Ayr, who were using the road as a race track when Knox hit Mrs Price's car.

Knox was heading towards the Holmston roundabout at Ayr in his Volkswagon Golf GTI when he tried to undertake a van but he clipped the back bumper.

His car spun round the inside of the van and ended up in front of it on the other side of the road, where he crashed into Mrs Price's Nissan Pulsar.

Knox was jailed for five years after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving, while Gribben was sentenced to four years for his part in the crash.

Ms Kay said she was pleased with the convictions but she welcomed moves to introduce harsher sentences for similar offences in he future.

"It doesn't change anything but ultimately somebody through their driving has taken away somebody's life and I think a sentence should reflect that," she said.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption John Gribben and Logan Knox are serving prison terms for their part in the collision

Ms Kay still uses crutches following the crash in January 2017 and she said her recovery has been "very, very slow".

The crash has had a "massive impact" on almost every aspect of her life, she said.

"I do appreciate how lucky I am still to be here.

"I actually saw the pictures of Joan's car for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it's just absolutely horrendous damage and, as I say, I do appreciate how lucky I am to come out of that accident - but I have lost my independence.

"I can't drive. I have lost a friend. I was due to start a new job a week after the accident - I have lost that job as well. It's had a huge impact on my life."

She added: "I'm very anxious still in the car. It took me I think seven months before I could get back in the front seat. I was in the back seat prior to that.

"Every little thing you see on the road you think 'what's that car doing?' and I think you're always just worried it's going to happen again. It changes your perspective on the world."

Image caption Know was heading towards the Holmston roundabout when he lost control of his car

Ms Kay is supporting a campaign by West FM, called Joan's Legacy, which is calling for speed cameras to be fitted on the section of the A77 when the crash happened.

She said local residents have been complaining about speeding drivers racing each other on the road for several years.

It is the only section of the A77 which does not have speed cameras, she added.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said it kept the safety performance of the trunk road network, including the A77, under review.

He added: "As is standard practice following a fatal accident, on 9 February 2017 a site visit was carried out involving Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and officers from the Trunk Road Operating Company.

"We are aware of local concerns regarding antisocial driver behaviour. Discussions are under way with key stakeholders, including Police Scotland who have directed resources into this area to encourage improved driver behaviour and speed limit compliance."

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