South Scotland

'Medical episode' may have caused Galashiels crash

A fatal road accident in the Borders was probably caused by a "medical episode" experienced by a 75-year-old lorry driver, a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

Witnesses saw the HGV driven by Ian Boyes plough into the back of a tractor pulling a trailer on the A7 near Galashiels.

Huw Jenkins, 54, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown through the rear window of the tractor.

The railway worker died on 1 May 2014.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard that Mr Boyes was involved in a minor collision in Glasgow with a car while driving the Hawick Plant Auction lorry earlier that afternoon.

Another witness told how she followed the lorry in a queue of traffic when it suddenly stopped in front of the lay-by near the entrance Torwoodlee Golf Course in Galashiels.

She said she assumed it was to let the tractor in front turn into the lay-by but after five or six seconds the lorry moved off again.

The witness said she could see the tractor had gone about 70m ahead but the lorry built up some speed and simply ran into the back of it, causing the fatal collision.

Black out

Mr Boyes' medical history was examined in detail and the inquiry was told he passed a medical test in January 2014

He died in August at his home at Newmill-on-Teviot, near Hawick, after suffering a narrowing of the coronary arteries.

The inquiry also heard it was not possible to tell whether Mr Boyes had a black-out and lost consciousness, or a coronary condition led to him losing control.

Police witnesses said that, after the crash, Mr Boyes was confused and had no idea what had happened.

Depute fiscal Fiona Caldwell said officers referred Mr Boyes to hospital for treatment in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

She added: "On balance a medical episode may have been the cause of the accident.

"I am not making any recommendations for further reasonable precautions. However the medical evidence is not conclusive."

Sheriff Michael Wood said he would deliver his determination into the death of Mr Jenkins, of Tonmawr, south Wales, at a future date.

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