HGV driver spared jail for killing colleague on motorway

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Alexander JohnstoneImage source, Stewart Robertson
Image caption,
Alexander Johnstone expressed regret over Mr McNally's death

A HGV driver who killed a colleague by reversing over him while delivering asphalt to a works site on the M8 has been spared jail over the tragedy.

Alexander Johnstone, 52, fatally injured Ryan McNally, 33, near Glasgow Airport on the M8.

Johnstone ignored guidelines and reversed his Scania tipping lorry over Mr McNally.

He admitted his guilt last month and expressed sincere regret over the death.

Johnstone pleaded guilty to a single charge of breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Paisley Sheriff Court previously heard the fatal collision took place on 3 March, 2014.

At the time Mr McNally, of Stirling, was carrying out road resurfacing on the White Cart Viaduct, near Junction 28.

Diversions were set up to take traffic through Paisley while the roads were re-laid.

Procurator fiscal depute Selena Brown explained: "The [road resurfacing] team were parked on the hard shoulder.

"A truck arrived being driven by Alexander Johnstone.

"There was no room as there was a works van on the hard shoulder."

The accused stayed for up to three minutes and then started reversing into the live traffic lane before entering the site via the 'works access' entrance.

'Tragic accident'

Ms Brown said: "Two vehicles travelling in lane three noted a white tipper truck reversing and also witnessed the presence of Ryan McNally with his back to the vehicle.

"They saw the vehicle strike Mr McNally and continue the reversing manoeuvre.

"The resulting injuries due to the road traffic incident were entirely consistent with Mr McNally being run over by a large, heavy vehicle."

Image source, Stewart Robertson
Image caption,
Ryan McNally was working on the M8 when he died

Defence advocate Barry Smith said: "Mr Johnstone is most anxious I should formally record, in this court, his sincere remorse and regret this accident happened and had such tragic consequences.

"He wishes, in particular, for me to record his sincere condolences to the family of Mr McNally."

The court heard Johnstone previously worked with Mr McNally, as well as his brothers and father, and was aware of the anguish he had caused the family.

He had a clean driving licence, no previous convictions and was well regarded and well liked by his employers and colleagues.

Sheriff James Spy spared him jail and instead handed him a community payback order, which stated he had to carry out 240 hours' unpaid work

He told Johnstone: "This was the result of a tragic accident."