Dead lorry driver slammed for setting out in gales

Police want to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision at about 12.10am. Picture: John Devlin

Police want to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision at about 12.10am. Picture: John Devlin

0
Have your say

A lorry driver who died in a spectacular road crash has been slammed for setting out on a journey while winds were touching 90mph.

Robert Dellow’s HGV was blown over and landed on top of two cars near Bathgate in West Lothian in December last year.

But a Sheriff probing the death said the 54-year-old Englishman should never have been on the road due to an amber warning of severe weather.

Sheriff Susan Craig also ruled that Mr Dellow would probably have survived the crash if he had been wearing his seat belt.

On the day Mr Dellow chose to drive, there was widespread disruption due to high winds, people left without power, the rail network shut and part of the roof of the helipad at Glasgow Airport was blown away.

Police Scotland issued an urgent warning in the aftermath of the crash, telling drivers of high-sided vehicles across the country to get off the road.

Sheriff Craig was in charge of a Fatal Accident Inquiry last summer into the accident on the A801 between the Boghead and Heatherfield roundabouts near Bathgate at 8.20am on December 5 last year.

The Inquiry heard that Mr Dellow’s DAF articulated lorry was pulling an empty trailer with its curtains closed, making it more vulnerable to side winds.

When it blew over, the HGV landed on two vehicles, a Fiat Punto and a BMW. The Inquiry heard that the driver of the Punto, school teacher Jonathan Campbell, had to climb out of his car, into the BMW before escaping from the crash scene.

Apart from Mr Dellow, no-one else was seriously injured.