Van driver found guilty of causing death in road crash

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A VAN driver has been convicted of causing the death of a 77-year-old woman in a head-on crash.

Edward Beckley, 27, of Meikle Inch Lane, Bathgate, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday of causing the death of Sarah Stewart, from Moffat, by dangerous driving on March 3, 2011 on the A701 Dumfries to Edinburgh road.

Beckley’s Volkswagen van was the third of a line of vehicles overtaking a lorry. The others managed to overtake safely, but Beckley – whose view was obscured by the van directly in front of him – smashed into an oncoming red Ford Fiesta driven by Mrs Stewart. Her husband George Stewart, 78, who was in the passenger seat, received injuries to his hip and spine in the collision.

Beckley pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, but denied that his driving was dangerous. Judge Lord Boyd banned Beckley, who was released on bail, from driving in the interim and deferred sentence until next month.