Daughters relive bin lorry crash as driver says sorry

Jack Bird, right, interviews Robyn and Lucy Ewing, daughters of bin lorry victim Gillian. Picture: BBC
Jack Bird, right, interviews Robyn and Lucy Ewing, daughters of bin lorry victim Gillian. Picture: BBC
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THE daughters of Edinburgh mother Gillian Ewing, who was killed in last year’s bin lorry crash, have spoken for the first time since the tragedy – with the driver later apologising for his “role” in the carnage.

In a BBC Scotland documentary last night, Robyn and Lucy Ewing recalled the events of December 22 last year, expressing their concern about the way the official investigation had been handled.

Mrs Ewing, 52, an events co-ordinator from Mortonhall, who spent much of her time in Cyprus, had been home visiting her family for Christmas, when she and daughter Lucy decided to take a trip to Glasgow on the day of the tragedy.

Lucy told presenter Jackie Bird that she and her mother had been making their way back to Queen Street station.

“We had been to the jewellers and were on our way back to the train station,” she said.

“Neither of us really knew Glasgow very well, so we had just retraced our footsteps, the way that we had come.

“I think we had come out past the National Galleries and were walking up Queen Street, towards the train station.

“I had heard quite a loud bang, but after that I don’t really remember much other than being on the road, and seeing the bin lorry come up the street towards my mum.

“And then, obviously, I saw it hit her. There was just sirens and flashing lights and just people everywhere.”

The broadcaster also revealed at the end of the show that, for the very first time, bin lorry driver Harry Clarke had addressed the BBC, by a letter via his lawyer.

The statement from Mr Clarke said: “I wish to unreservedly apologise for my role in this tragic event.

“I am aware that the families of the victims of the incident will have many unanswered questions.

“I will try to answer all of those questions to the best of my ability.”

After the tragedy, distraught Lucy was taken to a nearby cafe, where she tried frantically to get in touch with her family.

Her sister, Robyn, recalled the moment she received the dreaded phone call.

She said: “Lucy just literally said to me on the phone, ‘I don’t want to alarm you but there has been a serious accident in Glasgow and I think mum might be dead.’

Six people lost their lives in the crash.

Mr Clarke, 58, had been driving the council refuse track when it veered out of control in Glasgow city centre.

A fatal accident inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Mr Clarke lost consciousness at the wheel.

The inquiry, which adjourned on August 28, was also told he had a history of health issues and had not disclosed his medical background to his employers or the DVLA.

The documentary also featured Adam Russell, the son of Jacqueline Morton, who was also killed in the tragedy.

The fatal accident inquiry heard that Mrs Ewing “meant the world” to her daughters and was their best friend.

It was also revealed she had only been in Glasgow on that day because one of her rings had been stolen months earlier.

She had wanted to go back to the same jewellery shop to see if she could get a replacement.

Lucy was standing “mere inches” away when her mother was hit by the truck and could only watch in horror as she died before her eyes.