Crash families’ wait for review outcome

The families of two students killed when a Bishopbriggs man passed out at the wheel of his vehicle could know within months why the Crown dealt with the case as it did.

Mhairi Convy, of Lennoxtown, who was 18, and Laura Stewart, then 20, from Cumbernauld, died in December 2010 when William Payne passed out at the wheel of his Range Rover in Glasgow’s North Hanover Street.

Lawyer Colin Moffat. representing the families, said he was hopeful that a review of the case may make its findings known before the end of the year,

This will be important to the bereaved relatives, he said, because they feel they have never been given an adequate explanation of why the Crown acted as it did – and felt locked out of the process.

Bishopbriggs man William Payne had suffered previous blackouts without informing the DVLA.

Although originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving while uninsured, the case against him was dropped, and the Crown had still to decide on potential prosecution when the fatal accident inquiry was staged last year.

Mr Payne refused to answer questions on the grounds he might incriminate himself.

In March this year the Crown decided not to prosecute, in a move which has been compared to the case of the driver in the Glasgow bin lorry disaster.

Now, following the families’ formal complaint about the Crown’s handling of the case, the quality of the investigation is under scrutiny. along with the way the families were treated – they felt they were left to chase after detail.

The Crown’s handling of the fatal accident inquiry into the tragedy – slated as “chaotic” - will also be studied.

Mr Moffat stressed the only outcome will be to make public whether the Crown erred, and if so to spell out where it went wrong.

But from the families’ point of view the fact they were finally to be given answers to basic questions after four years would be a form of “respect” they felt they were due.

Mr Moffat said: “They are reasonable and intelligent people, and know this is a detailed exercise. They know it is a matter of being patient, and that they will be given answers. They want to know why their daughters died”.