Bin lorry crash driver Harry Clarke admits reckless driving charge

February 17, 2017

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Harry Clarke was appearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court

The driver of the bin lorry that crashed in Glasgow killing six people has admitted culpable and reckless driving nine months later.

Harry Clarke, 60, pleaded guilty to driving a car on 20 September 2015 to the danger of the public, despite losing his licence for medical reasons.

His licence was withdrawn following a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of six people on 22 December 2014.

Clarke was not prosecuted over the bin lorry crash.

He admitted driving in the knowledge that he had suffered a loss of consciousness while at the wheel of a moving refuse collection vehicle on 22 December 2014, resulting in the deaths and leaving 15 more people injured.

He also knew he had suffered a loss of consciousness or episode of altered awareness while at the wheel of a stationary bus on 7 April 2010.

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(Clockwise from top left) Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Erin McQuade, Jacqueline Morton, Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing were killed in the crash

His licence had been revoked for 12 months on 27 June 2015 and the charge stated that he knew or ought to have known that he was unfit to drive, and that there was a risk he might lose consciousness or suffer an episode of altered awareness while driving.

In relation to the 2014 bin lorry crash, the Crown Office insisted there was insufficient evidence to raise criminal proceedings against Clarke.

However, in a rare legal move, relatives of three crash victims sought permission from senior judges to bring charges against him in a private prosecution.

Despite that, judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh ruled in November last year that the family could not launch a private prosecution.

Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, 68 and 69, and their granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, Stephenie Tait, 29, Jacqueline Morton, 51, and Gillian Ewing, 52, died in the incident.

The subsequent fatal accident inquiry heard Clarke had a history of health issues but had not disclosed his medical background to his employers or the DVLA.

It also emerged that Clarke had previously blacked out while working as a bus driver but failed to disclose it when he became a bin lorry driver with Glasgow City Council.

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