GP Didn't Think 'Symptoms Would Reoccur'
6 August 2015, 14:05
A GP who certified the driver of a Glasgow bin lorry that killed six people when it went out of control as ``fit to drive'' after he fainted in a previous job said he did not think his symptoms would reoccur.
Dr John Langan, of Baillieston Health Centre in Glasgow, examined Harry Clarke after he fainted in his previous job as a driver for First Bus in April 2010.
The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the crash, which happened on December 22 last year, heard that Dr Langan and First Bus' own medical officer had conflicting accounts of where the faint happened.
The GP's medical records indicated he fainted ``at work, in canteen, hot environment, no warning signs''.
However, two letters from First's medical officer Dr Kenneth Lyons indicated that Mr Clarke fainted on a stationary bus.
DVLA guidelines to GPs state that people who have fainted may be fit to return to the wheel if there was provocational factors, such as a hot environment, prodromal features such as light headedness, and if a faint ``is unlikely to occur while sitting or lying''.
Dr Langan told the FAI that he would have deemed Mr Clarke fit to drive regardless of whether he was sitting or standing, as in his view the DVLA guidelines should be interpreted as requiring further investigations if a recurrence while sitting is deemed likely.
Dr Langan said: ``It says 'unlikely to occur while sitting', not never.'' He added: ``I didn't think there was a high risk of recurrence.''
Mr Clarke, 58, was driving the council truck in Glasgow city centre on December 22 last year when he became slumped at the wheel and the lorry veered out of control.
Six people were killed when the bin lorry careered along the pavement on Queen Street before crashing into the Millennium Hotel.
Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, were struck and killed by the lorry.
Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, also died in the crash.