Confusion over road closure signage on a rural Clydesdale route could have contributed to a horrfic accident in which a man lost his leg, a court heard.
That explanation was offered when van driver Barry Green appeared for sentence at Lanark Sheriff Court last Thursday after admitting driving carelessly on a remote stretch of the A702 near Wandel and ploughing into the back of a stationary lorry, leading to his passenger suffering the life-changing injury.
The court was told that the 66-year-old and his now-crippled passenger, Robert Green, no relation, have remained firm friends despite the accident on June 12 last year.
Steven Love, the Queen’s counsel acting for Green, told the court that a failure to remove road closure signage on the stretch of road where the accident took place might have played a part in his client committing the first – and so far only – driving offence of his life.
He told the court that, on the early morning in question, closure signs had been placed on the stretch of road while works went on at an adjacent wind farm but had been due to be removed at 6am.
His client and passenger had arrived at one of the signs at 5.50am to find a lorry immediately in front of them.
Instead of taking a diversion route, both drivers decided to wait the short time for the road to be reopened and the sign was duly removed at the indicated time, and the vehicles proceeded along the road.
However, some distance on, around a bend in the road and just after a partly blind horizon, another closure sign had not been removed, and the lorry driver duly stopped at it.
Tachograph records showed that exactly six seconds later, Green’s van ploughed into the rear of the stationary lorry, leaving both vehicles damaged and Green’s passenger severely injured.
His left leg was eventually amputated below the knee, and he spent two months in hospital.
Despite that, claimed Mr Love, Barry and Robert Green remain “firm friends”.
Both men had been returning home that morning to their engineering maintenance company’s base in West Yorkshire.
The QC told sheriff Robert Weir that confusion over the signage, the bend and blind horizon all contributed to the accident, and he pointed to his client’s 40-year-plus clean driving record.
Sheriff Weir fined Green, of Goff Well Farm, Keighley, West Yorkshire, £550 and imposed six penalty points on his driving licence.