Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Death Crash Driver Won't Apologise for Health 'Lies'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Death Crash Driver Won't Apologise for Health 'Lies'

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Christie and Paul Ward Reporters

THE Glasgow bin lorry crash driver who blacked out at the wheel has refused to say sorry at an inquiry into the tragedy for "lies" he told about his health.

Lawyers for victims' families blamed Harry Clarke, 58, for the crash by failing to tell doctors and employers about a history of dizzy spells and fainting before the December 22 accident, which claimed the lives of six pedestrians.

Dorothy Bain QC, representing the family of Jacqueline Morton, accused him of telling a "pack of lies" on job application and DVLA forms in order to keep his HGV licence.

The Crown Office ruled out bringing any charges against the council worker ahead of a fatal accident inquiry but Mr Clarke could face a private prosecution led by bereaved families.

The threat of court action means he has refused to answer questions relating to his medical and employment history despite pressure from victims' lawyers.

Mr Clarke was asked to "show decency", to "amend" for what he had done and even asked to imagine his own daughter had been killed. Ms Bain said: "If your daughter was killed and there was a public inquiry trying to find out what might have prevented her death, what would you hope those who might have some information about it would do at that public inquiry?" Mr Clarke said: "I don't wish to answer that question."

Ms Bain said: "Given the sympathy and care you've been shown by everyone, do you not have the decency to think of someone other than yourself on this occasion? "If you've not done anything wrong, why not help here today? If you have done something ... do you not think you should begin to make amends for that by choosing to answer?" The inquiry has previously heard evidence that Mr Clarke blacked out at the wheel of the bus he was driving while employed by First Bus in 2010.

Ms Bain said it only came to light in February this year when a consultant checked his medical records. He was told at that point not to drive but still had the "audacity" to apply to get his licence back, she said. …

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