Driver killed in black day on city’s roads

Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash. Pic: Neil Hanna
Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash. Pic: Neil Hanna
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A GARDENER has told how he tried desperately to help a driver who was killed when his car careered 30 feet off a road, down an embankment and into a greenhouse.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene at

Downes Nursery, in Gillespie Road, Colinton, yesterday morning.

The tragedy came during a period of mayhem on the Capital’s roads, with three other serious crashes reported throughout the day.

Two men remain in hospital after the motorbike they were travelling on collided with a car in West Pilton Gardens.

About 20 firefighers raced to the scene in Colinton at about 11.40am and battled to free the man from his vehicle.

Downes Nursery owner David Downes, 71, rushed to the wrecked Fiat Bravo and discovered the driver inside, but called 999 when he could not reach him.

Mr Downes said: “It’s tragic. I feel sorry for his family.

I must have been the first person on the scene.

“The car was on top of the greenhouse, lying on its side.

“I tried to open the door, but I could not get it open ­because it was jammed.

“As soon as I saw there was someone in the car, I shouted to see if he was alive.

“One of his hands was clutching the seat belt and the airbag had gone off.

“I think the guy had a faint pulse but he only lasted half an hour.”

Police were today continuing their investigation into the incident, and said it was not yet clear why the car left the road before it flipped and smashed into the greenhouse.

Mr Downes said: “It looks as if it spun in mid-air. It hit a street light and a fence together at an angle. The car must have flipped and fallen 30ft on to the greenhouse.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sent appliances to help stabilise the car and used cutting equipment to release the casualty.

“Paramedics and the Medic One fast response medical team were also in attendance but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Meanwhile, police are appealing for witnesses who saw a red motorbike in the West Pilton Gardens area at about 5.40pm yesterday.

Two men who were riding on the motorbike were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after a collision with a car, but police said the extent of their injuries was not yet known.

Elsewhere in the Capital yesterday, a car and a caravan landed on their roofs on the City Bypass near the Baberton junction at 11.45am. No-one was hurt.

There were also no injuries suffered in a three-car crash in London Road at 11.50am.