Glasgow & West Scotland

Jim Lochrie death after bus driver blackout 'avoidable'

David Logue and Jim Lochrie Image copyright Spindrift and Police Scotland
Image caption David Logue (left) blacked out at the wheel of the bus which went on to hit Jim Lochrie

A bus driver who killed a colleague after passing out at the wheel should have followed medical advice after previous faints, an inquiry has found.

Jim Lochrie, 62, died after being hit by a vehicle driven by David Logue at a bus stop in Glasgow on 31 March 2012.

A fatal accident inquiry heard Mr Logue was told to avoid becoming dehydrated after other faints in 1998 and 2008.

Sheriff Kenneth Mitchell said the death may have been avoided if Mr Logue had followed advice or not driven at all.

The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into Mr Lochrie's death was held at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this year.

The inquiry heard that Mr Logue worked with Mr Lochrie at First Glasgow's depot in Victoria Road, in the city's south side.

'What have I done?'

On the day of the crash, Mr Lochrie was waiting at a bus stop on nearby Cathcart Road, when the bus driven by Mr Logue's bus ploughed into it.

Witness Stuart Purves told the inquiry how he went to help and found Mr Logue behind the wheel with his eyes wide open, staring into space and looking like "a mannequin".

He said the driver said he felt sick and had a sore head.

On hearing that there was someone pinned under the bus, Mr Purves said Mr Logue repeated: "Oh, what have I done?"

Mr Logue cried when he spoke about his colleague while giving evidence.

Recalling the event he said: "I was doing about 20mph. The next thing I remember is someone banging.

"I came to and I was slumped over the wheel and there was a brick wall in front of me."

The inquiry heard that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was not informed by Mr Logue that he had suffered "dizzy turns" in 1998 and he did not report "dizzy turns" to the DVLA prior to the accident which resulted in Mr Lochrie's death.

He informed them he had blacked out in 1998 and fainted at work in 2008 due to lack of hydration but did not mention that it was while driving a bus.

'Reasonable precaution'

In June 2008, after the incident, Dr Byrne, a consultant cardiologist at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow gave Mr Logue advice to avoid him becoming dehydrated and fainting while driving.

In August 2008 in response to a request from the DVLA, Dr Byrne completed a DVLA medical report advising that the episode in June 2008 had been attributed to a simple faint.

There was no obvious space on the DVLA form to include further information regarding the circumstances of the accident.

Dr Byrne did not send an accompanying letter advising the DVLA that Mr Logue was driving a bus at the time of the episode when he returned the report.

In his judgement, Sheriff Mitchell said: "A reasonable precaution, whereby the accident resulting in Mr Lochrie's death might have been avoided, was for Mr Logue to have followed the advice given to him on June 17, 2008 by Dr John Byrne, to maintain a sufficient dietary and fluid intake to avoid becoming dehydrated and having a further vasovagal (fainting) episode provoked by dehydration whilst he was driving a motor vehicle.

"Alternatively, if Mr Logue was not prepared to follow Dr Byrne's advice (as I have found established), it was a reasonable precaution, whereby the accident resulting in Mr Lochrie's death might have been avoided, for Mr Logue simply not to have driven any type of motor vehicle, whether a car or a bus."

The Crown Office decided Mr Logue would not face prosecution over Mr Lochrie's death.

A Crown office spokesman said: "The decision not to prosecute Mr Logue was taken by Crown Counsel following full and careful consideration of all the evidence relevant to criminal responsibility.

"The Crown cannot raise proceedings where there is insufficient evidence in law to show that he had committed a criminal offence."

A similar decision was made not to prosecute Harry Clarke, the driver of the bin lorry that killed six people in Glasgow's Queen Street on 22 December 2014.

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