South Scotland

Driver cleared of A711 double fatal crash charge

Storm Drummond and Shaun Boyce Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Storm Drummond and Shaun Boyce died in the crash in 2017

A driver has been cleared of causing a crash which claimed the lives of two people in southern Scotland.

Gavin McKinnell, 33, was found not guilty following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He was charged with causing the deaths of Shaun Boyce, 27, and Storm Drummond, 25, by dangerous driving on the A711 Dalbeattie to Dumfries road in April 2017.

Mr McKinnell had been accused of "engaging in a race" with Mr Boyce.

He had denied the offence.

Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Gavin McKinnell was found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving

Mr Boyce was said to have lost control of his car before striking a tree and barrier with the motor eventually catching fire.

Ms Drummond had been in the car with him.

One witness told the court how he had been in his cottage near the scene and had heard an "explosion " nearby.

He heard someone shrieking for help and then saw a "smashed" car which was already on fire.

Jurors were also told Mr McKinnell had told a friend on Facebook that he felt "emotionally unstable" after what happened.

Asked if he was OK, he added in a message: "No, I'm not, buddy. Feel sick every five minutes."

After the not guilty verdict, Mr McKinnell broke down in the dock before being allowed to leave the courtroom by judge Lord Burns.

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