Woman tells court how cousin was killed on road crossing

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A pensioner wept as she told a court how her cousin lost her life after being struck by a “big white” vehicle at a pedestrian crossing.

Margaret Haldane, 69, was also knocked over after she and relative, Charlotte Collins, 68, attempted to cross the road at Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre on 18 January 2014.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard yesterday how Ms Collins – who was known as Carol – died in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital in the hours following the incident.

It also heard how the man who prosecutors say caused her death – Vincent Friel, 44, – had allegedly suffered a vasovagal attack at the wheel of his car.

The jury of nine women and six men heard that the medical condition allegedly caused Mr Friel’s blood pressure to drop so much that he fainted.

He is also said to have experienced a “total loss of control of his actions”.

The jury also viewed CCTV footage of the car striking Ms Haldane and Ms Collins – they also saw one of the women trapped under its wheels.

Ms Haldane told the court of how she lay on the ground in the moments following the collision not knowing what had happened to her cousin.

She said: “I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t hear her. Nobody told me anything.”

Ms Haldane, of London, was giving evidence on the first day of proceedings against Friel, of Rutherglen.

He denies two charges. The first charge states that he caused Ms Collins’s death by driving dangerously at Barrhead Road, Glasgow, on 18 January 2014.

The second charge states that he caused serious injury to Ms Haldane by driving dangerously on the same date at the same location.

Ms Haldane told prosecution lawyer Iain McSporran that she had came to visit her family in Scotland at the time of the collision.

NHS catering assistant Fiona Friel told the court that she was crossing the road at the time of the collision.

She told the court that she had a conversation with the driver of the vehicle: “He said he didn’t see them.”

The court heard she told the driver that he didn’t need to see them because the pedestrian crossing had signalled it was OK for them to cross.

Mr Friel has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyers have lodged a special defence on his behalf stating that he had a vasovagal attack at the time of the alleged incident.

The trial, before temporary judge John Morris QC, continues.