Glasgow bin lorry crash: Driver refuses to apologise for health 'lies'


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 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 April 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.

The lawyer said: "You should never have been behind the wheel of an HGV and you know that.

"It's actually all your fault, do you see that?

"If you had told the truth in 2010, there is every likelihood the six innocent people who lost their lives would still be here today."

Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were killed as the lorry driven by Mr Clarke veered out of control during a routine rubbish collection three days before Christmas.

The truck mounted the pavement on Queen Street and travelled towards George Square before crashing in to the side of the Millennium Hotel.

Ronald Conway, acting for Ms Tait's family, told Mr Clarke: "I'm going to ask that you say sorry to the people that died that day.

"I want you to say sorry for the lies told in 2010 and that those lies led to the deaths of six people."

Mr Clarke said: "No, I can't say that."

Mr Conway told him: "You'll never get another chance."