Glasgow bin lorry crash: Driver identity protected

Candle tributes left near the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow after the crash on Monday. Picture: PA
Candle tributes left near the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow after the crash on Monday. Picture: PA
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THE identity of the driver of the bin lorry that killed six people when it crashed in Glasgow city centre will be protected indefinitely, the local authority has said.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council, which owns the bin lorry involved in the George Square tragedy, said it would “never release the names” of the driver or other two individuals who were in the cabin when it crashed.

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He also said that the three men who had been in the cabin when it crashed would have access to the same trauma service that was set up in the wake of the Clutha tragedy last year, which saw ten people killed when a police helicopter crashed into the Glasgow pub.

The spokesman said: “We have got a major incident support team which is in place for anyone who was affected and needs help. It is the same team that was put in place after Clutha to support the victims and those who went to their aid.”

Cognitive therapist Dan Roberts said that the use of counselling would have to be deployed carefully to avoid exacerbating any trauma.

Roberts said: “There is quite a strong debate whether people should have counselling straight away after a trauma or not, because what you will find is that the symptoms of trauma will subside naturally over time for the vast majority of people.

“The best thing for them to be doing is that they need to be talking about it a lot – that’s the one thing that does help – but probably with friends and family, and of course a counsellor can fulfil that role too.

“One problem can be that if you give people counselling straight after the incident, you can be almost artificially prolonging the trauma rather than letting it naturally subside.”

Roberts added that the driver – who is believed to have had a heart attack prior to the accident – could be suffering from a feeling of responsibility and guilt, and in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from such incidents such feelings can exacerbate the condition.

Those with PTSD can suffer from hyper-sensitivity to sounds and experience debilitating flashbacks, which cognitive therapy can help to alleviate.

It emerged on Friday that the nephew of 68-year-old Jack and 69-year-old Lorraine Sweeney, who were killed in the crash along with their granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, all from Dumbarton, said he did not blame the driver for their deaths.

In a message posted on Twitter, Marc Gardiner said he hoped “the driver of the lorry makes a speedy recovery and understands that it wasn’t his fault”.

Primary school teacher Stephenie Tait, 29, and tax worker Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the council truck mounted the pavement in Queen Street before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square on Monday.

It was confirmed yesterday that four out of the ten people injured in the crash remain in two hospitals.

A 14-year-old girl, an 18-year-old woman and a 64-year-old woman were described as being in a stable condition at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

A 57-year-old man, believed to be the driver, remains stable in the city’s Western Infirmary.

Police Scotland says it is conducting a “thorough and exhaustive” inquiry into the crash.

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