Glasgow & West Scotland

Cab driver blames 'glare of sun' for causing OAP death

James Buchanan Image copyright Spindrift

A taxi driver killed an 89 year-old man after failing to spot him due to glare of the sun.

James Buchanan struck the shopping trolley pulled by David McQuiston, knocking the pensioner to the ground.

Mr McQuiston died two months later after never fully recovering from the collision in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Buchanan - a cab driver for 18 years - admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving.

The court heard that Mr McQuiston was returning home from visiting his wife, who had dementia, at the time of the accident in January 2015.

Prosecutor Tim Niven Smith said "the sun was low in the sky" with its brightness "reducing visibility" for motorists.

Intensive care

Mr McQuiston was not walking on the pavement instead following the double yellow lines at the side of Argyll Road.

The OAP - who lived in the town - was using a stick to help him and he was also pulling a dark shopping trolley.

The court heard the pavement was icy, possibly explaining why the pensioner was on the road.

Mr Niven Smith said Buchanan failed to spot Mr McQuiston at the kerbside with his car hitting the trolley.

The pensioner fell and hit his head on the ground.

Buchanan immediately got out of his Seat Toledo and dialled 999.

He told one witness: "I could not see him. I did not mean it. It was the glare of the sun."

'Deepest apologies'

A retired nurse went to help Mr McQuiston and Buchanan repeated: "I did not see him. The sun was in my eyes."

It was also noted a police car had to stop due to the glare.

Mr McQuiston was transferred by helicopter to intensive care in Glasgow amid fears he had a brain injury.

Following rehabilitation, he was sent to the Erskine care home in Renfrewshire.

But, on March 20 2015, Mr McQuiston died after falling unconscious due to breathing problems.

It was found that he had died due to a form of pneumonia caused by the head injury.

Tony Graham, defending, said Buchanan offered his "deepest apologies" to Mr McQuiston's relatives.

The advocate added: "He will continue to be haunted that his driving led to a loss of life."

Judge Lady Carmichael adjourned sentencing until 17 July in Edinburgh and banned Buchanan from the road in the meantime.

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