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Driver 'had no blackout history'

A MOTORIST who killed two students told a doctor he had no history of blackouts, a fatal accident inquiry has been told.

STUDENTS: Mhairi Convy and Laura Stewart died.
STUDENTS: Mhairi Convy and Laura Stewart died.

William Payne was driving his Range Rover down North Hanover Street in Glasgow when he collided with victims Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20, on December 17 2010.

He also injured Mark Hopwood, 39, who was thrown on to the road and survived.

Dr Gordon Duff, who carried out a medical examination on Mr Payne in July 2010, gave evidence at the Glasgow Sheriff Court hearing yesterday into the deaths of the Glasgow College of Commerce students.

The occupational physician carried out medical examinations on those who hold HGV licences.

The hearing was told Mr Payne had an HGV licence and had to be checked out.

Dr Duff told the inquiry there were two types of examination, one for people who are applying for the first time and another for drivers who are repeating an examination.

He explained drivers are examined every five years until the age of 65, then annually.

He said: "In Mr Payne's case this was a renewal medical because at that time he was 50 so he was up for his five-year renewal."

The doctor explained as part of the form that is filled in there are different conditions - including fits or blackouts - that can affect driving and the applicant has to disclose if he or she has suffered from anything.

The inquiry was also told they are asked if they have attended their doctor or a hospital for any reason not on the list.

Procurator fiscal depute Jim Graham, put to the witness that Mr Payne claimed at the time, he had no history of blackouts or loss of consciousness over the past five years.

Dr Duff replied: "That is correct."

He was asked if he decided who was medically fit after an examination and said: "No, my only role is to take a medical snapshot of any individual."

Mr Graham asked: "If blackouts were flagged up DVLA would have pursued that?"

Dr Duff said: "Absolutely."

He added: "I had nothing to inform DVLA about."

The inquiry was told that examiners have no access to medical records for an individual, only the information the applicant discloses.

During cross-examination by Dorothy Bain QC - representing both families - Dr Duff said: "I have often thought it might be useful if I sent a copy of the examination form to the individual's own doctor."

On Tuesday, witness Gary McGinley had told the hearing that after finding their twisted bodies, he had approached the driver in the car.

He had found him "just facing ahead, pan faced, eyes fixed.

"I asked, 'You okay? You okay, pal?' No response from him.

"He looked physically okay, he was sitting back in the vehicle and the window was open."

He had earlier described how he had seen the car being driven at "ridiculous speed" with its engine revving on the pavement.

The hearing, before sheriff Andrew Normand, continues.

Contextual targeting label: 
Health

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