Cathedral service to mark Glasgow bin lorry crash anniversary


Hundreds of people are to join the families of the victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash at a service to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy.

Seven candles are to be lit at Glasgow Cathedral - one for each of the six victims and a seventh for all those injured and affected by the crash.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to attend with Lord Provost of Glasgow Sadie Docherty, members of the emergency services who helped at the scene and those caught up in the crash in Queen Street on December 22 last year.

The families of the victims - Erin McQuade, Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Stephenie Tait, Jacqueline Morton, and Gillian Ewing - have been invited to attend, although some have said they will mark the anniversary in private.

The name of each victim will be read out and a candle lit and placed with a flower in the cathedral.

There will also be a two-minute silence and the Christmas lights on all the trees in the cathedral will be turned off.

Organised by Glasgow Churches Together, the public service is expected to be full to capacity.

Father David Wallace said: "We want to be able to offer support and comfort, and recognise those who died, their families and friends and all those involved or affected.

"We know there isn't a happy ending but there can be hope for people whose lives have been turned upside down."

Glasgow City Council has already said bin lorries will not use Queen Street on the day of the anniversary as people may return to the scene to lay flowers.

In George Square, bookings for the Christmas ice rink will not be taken between 2pm and 3pm while fairground rides will be shut down between 2.15pm and 2.45pm, covering the time when the crash occurred.

The crash happened when bin lorry driver Harry Clarke lost consciousness behind the wheel and the truck careered out of control.

During the fatal accident inquiry into the crash, it emerged Mr Clarke had a history of blackouts and faints which he had not disclosed to the DVLA or when applying for the job at Glasgow City Council.

The sheriff who chaired the inquiry ruled the crash might have been avoided if Mr Clarke had told the truth about his medical history.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "The thoughts and prayers of everybody at Scottish Labour are with the families of those who lost their lives one year ago today.

"Nobody can forget the shock and sadness of such a tragic incident, at what should have been one of the happiest times of the year. Sadly, Christmas will never be the same for the families involved."