Glasgow bin lorry crash driver’s GP claims he was ‘misled on medical history’

BIN lorry crash driver Harry Clarke’s doctor told a court he had been misled on his medical history before the tragedy. Dr Gerard McKaig said had he known about Clarke fainting behind the wheel of a bus, he would have “warranted a much fuller investigation” into his health at the time.

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Harry Clarke’s doctor claims he was ‘misled’ over the driver’s medical historyGlasgow bin lorry crash driver's GP claims he was 'misled on medical history'

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Clark passed out behind the wheel of a bin lorry before a crash killed six people in Glasgow in 2014Credit: PA:Press Association

The GP’s witness statement was read during a hearing into the disaster — which claimed the lives of six people — at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Glasgow City Council is suing First Bus, the former employers of Clarke, over the job reference the firm provided.

The 64-year-old told his doctor he fainted in a warm canteen building in April 2010, but it later transpired he had lost consciousness behind the wheel of a stationary bus. Witness statements were also given by the former clinical lead for Bupa’s occupational health services in Scotland, Dr Peter Warnock. He told the hearing had he been made aware of Clarke’s loss of consciousness behind the wheel in 2010, he would have deemed him “unfit for work” until a health investigation was carried out to the DVLA’s satisfaction.

Clarke was driving the refuse truck which struck and killed six people in Queen Street, Glasgow, on December 22, 2014. He passed out at the wheel of the vehicle in the moments leading up to the fatal collisions. Clarke “surrendered” his driving licence in January 2015 because doctors suspected he had epilepsy.

The court heard that the DVLA then wrote to him giving him formal notification that he couldn’t drive because the law required him “to be free” of epileptic attacks or medication for the condition for a 10 year period. However, judge Lord Ericht heard how Clarke had been “throughly investigated” and medics later concluded he had condition called neurocardiogenic syncopy. A consultant physician wrote to him in February 2015 and stated: “You have a completely normal heart – no abnormalities of heart rhythm.”

A doctor at the former bus driver’s GP practice later wrote to the DVLA asking them to correct the statement he had epilepsy.



An inquiry into the incident heard the tragedy took just 19 seconds to unfold. Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, died in the crash. A further 15 people were injured when the Glasgow City Council truck veered out of control and travelled along the pavement in Queen Street before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

Glasgow City Council claims Clarke’s former employer – First Glasgow – failed to disclose he lost consciousness at the wheel in 2010. The public transport firm are contesting the action and its lawyers are arguing that the firm acted appropriately. The hearing continues.

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