Man ‘fell asleep at wheel’ before Palacerigg death crash

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An Ayrshire man has admitted falling asleep at the wheel and causing a head-on crash which killed the senior conservation officer of Palacerigg Country Park.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Saturday, 21-year-old Alisdair Grant admitted he was responsible for the collision, which claimed the life of Gerry Lewis in March 2014.

Not long before the smash, Grant had served a ban for drink driving soon before the fatal crash, which happened after he had been partying heavily the previous night. This happened on the A719 near the Ayrshire village of Waterside in March 2014.

The court heard that losing her husband had a “profound” on Mrs Lewis.

Grant, who faces a lengthy jail term, was on the verge of tears as he was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

He had been driving his brother’s Fiat Punto despite feeling the effects of the previous evening.

Prosecutor Mark McGuire told the court: “Text messages recovered from his mobile phone sent that day indicate he had been partying heavily the night before. Around two hours before the collision - in response to someone asking if he was fit to drive - he replied he thought he would be soon.

“The texts made it clear that Grant was tired.”

Mr Lewis, accompanied by wife Sarah, had been driving his Suzuki 4x4 in the opposite direction when Grant’s Fiat drifted “without warning” into a head-on crash and Mr Lewis sustained fatal injuries.

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