Latest from the Glasgow Bin Lorry FAI

27 August 2015, 14:44

A lawyer for a family which lost three members in the Glasgow bin lorry crash has said they "profoundly disagree" with the decision not to prosecute any party over the deaths, an inquiry has heard.

Relatives of Erin McQuade and her grandparents Jack and Lorraine Sweeney said they were "devastated" by their deaths and expressed "great concern" over how the tragedy was investigated.

Mark Stewart QC raised the issue in his final submission to the fatal accident inquiry into the crash which claimed six lives on December 22 last year.

Mr Stewart said the family did not agree that it should have been treated as a road traffic accident and believes there should have been more involvement from the Health and Safety Executive.

Concerns were also raised over the fact that driver Harry Clarke was never interviewed by police after the crash.

Mr Stewart said: "This was an investigation conducted with remarkable haste.

"The conclusion of the Crown Office, announced nine weeks after the tragedy, that no basis in criminal law could be established to bring criminal proceedings is one with which the family profoundly disagree.''

The Crown Office said in February that no charges would be brought against Mr Clarke and the relevant information had been taken into account regarding a decision not to prosecute.

The family representative said relatives had found it "difficult to prepare for'' the FAI and the speed with which it has been held has "placed them under heightened pressure in reliving the tragic circumstances".

The inquiry heard that Erin, 18, and her grandparents had been Christmas shopping and out for lunch on the day of the crash.

They were described as a "close family" and the deaths had left relatives "devastated''.

Ms McQuade was a first-year student at the University of Glasgow where she was studying English literature. She was also said to be a talented artist and had previously volunteered to help sick people visit Lourdes.

Mr Sweeney, 68, had previously worked in Canada and was said to have enjoyed gardening, horse racing and family holidays. His wife, 69, had worked in a coffee shop and enjoyed shopping trips.

Mr Stewart told the inquiry that they cared for their grandchildren, including Ms McQuade's three young siblings, and were close to their two daughters and their husbands.

At the end of his submission, Mr Stewart said: ``It is submitted that the families who have attended court have done so with remarkable strength of character, grace and dignity.''

Sheriff John Beckett said: "I would agree with that.''

Alistair Forsyth QC, was next to make submissions on behalf of the relatives of victim Gillian Ewing.

He said he adopted the submissions of the previous families and also raised concerns over Glasgow City Council's route risk assessments, which he said covered pick-up points rather than the specific route driven by lorries.

A lawyer representing the DVLA said the body had already started a review around its guidelines on fitness to drive and the period of restriction for licence revocations.

He said there were no ``reasonable precautions'' that the DVLA could have taken to prevent the crash last year and said recommendations that doctors should be compelled to report all medical issues to the DVLA could ``potentially impact on the willingness of patients to seek medical advice''.

Ms McQuade and Mr and Mrs Sweeney, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Ms Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were killed as the lorry driven by Mr Clarke veered out of control during a routine rubbish collection.