South Tyneside lorry driver admits killing pensioner in horror smash

A South Tyneside lorry driver has admitted killing a former councillor in a horror crash.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 2:13 pm
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 3:57 pm
The smash happened on the A9 southbound near Blair Atholl in Perthshire, Scotland, on December 1, 2017

Keith Murray ploughed into Barbara Vaughan's car after he failed to react to a traffic queue in December 2017.

Two passing doctors tried to help the stricken 77 year-old, but she died days later in hospital.

Murray could now face jail after he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving during the hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 49 year-old will be sentenced next month.

The smash happened on the A9 southbound near Blair Atholl in Perthshire, Scotland, on December 1, 2017.

Ms Vaughan – once a well-known Conservative councillor in the area – was travelling in her Renault Megane that afternoon.

Murray was on the A9 working as a long distance HGV driver.

Prosecutor Angela Gray told how roadworks caused a “long line” of traffic.

As a result, motorists had to stop.

But, one driver noticed Murray approaching in his Mercedes lorry and appearing not to slow down.

Miss Gray: “For some unknown reason, he failed to react to the stationary traffic.”

He crashed into the widow's car causing it to hurtle down an embankment.

Ms Vaughan became trapped in her upturned vehicle. Two doctors in the area raced out to her aid.

The pensioner was eventually freed and airlifted to hospital in Dundee.

She had several broken ribs and cuts to her leg.

Her condition tragically worsened after suffering a collapsed lung and she died on December 4.

The court heard it was concluded Murray had failed to react in a manner expected of a “careful” driver.

His lawyer Barry Smith told the court: “He is anxious that I should record his sincere regret and that his driving resulted in such a tragic loss of life.”

Lord Arthurson banned Murray, of Sandiacres, Jarrow, from driving.

Bail was continued.

It emerged in February this year that a service for young carers was to be set up in Barbara's memory.

The former councillor had been a leading figure in education across Tayside for decades.