Nurse tells of terror as Warburton bread lorry crushes her car on A9
A NURSE was left scarred for life after a Warburtons bread lorry toppled over and crushed her car as its driver tried to undertake at high speed in a lay-by.
Robert Hill was found guilty yesterday of an “unbelievable” piece of driving as he tried to use the parking area to undertake a slower-moving vehicle on the A9 trunk road.
He was banned from driving after a sheriff found he had nipped into the lay-by with the fully laden truck, but lost control as he re-entered the road.
Community psychiatric nurse Linda McFarlane, 58, described how she was crushed when the bread lorry toppled over on the car she was driving in the company of Dr Saffron Dickinson.
She told Perth Sheriff Court the Warburtons lorry veered out of control at high speed after using a lay-by to undertake a tractor.
“I saw the lorry coming towards me,” she said. “Saffron shouted: ‘Watch out’. It was swaying quite violently as it came towards me. It was coming over the road to my side.
“I can say I’ll never forget that. My instinct kicked in and I swerved off. All I remember is trying to get out of his path.
“The last thing I remember is seeing this big lorry coming down on us. I thought: ‘My God, we are in trouble here’. It was Warburtons.”
“When I saw it coming down … I can’t explain it. I heard a bang and then silence,” she said.
“I had multiple injuries including scarring to my face, burns to my wrist and side. My nose and lips were swollen and I was covered in blood. Bits of glass were in my face. It stopped me playing golf for a while.”
She told the court she had continued having nightmares about the truck bearing down on her and had undergone specialist therapy to regain confidence behind the wheel.
“It had seemed a long way away, but I remember I was surprised by how quickly it hit us. That was not a lorry that was in control, the way it was moving.”
Farmer Thomas McPherson, 53, said he was on the road in his tractor pulling a hay mower past a lay-by when he suddenly heard the “almighty roar” of another vehicle by his side.
“I looked to the left and saw an articulated lorry passing me – using the lay-by,” he said.
“It was a Warburtons lorry. I glanced round to my left and I just couldn’t believe it. The lorry just shot past me and started to exit the lay-by. It was going pretty fast.
“He must have been going fast to overtake me in that short distance,” Mr McPherson said, adding that the lorry clipped both kerbs as Hill raced back on to the A9.
“It hit the car coming in the opposite direction. It hit the windscreen and flattened it after that. It was just a shock seeing the lorry do what he did.”
Michael Wilson, 49, a roads worker, was driving behind Ms McFarlane’s car when he saw Hill lose control.
He said: “I think it was going too fast. As soon as it came out the lay-by it shot across the road with the driver’s wheels up off the road at a 45-degree angle.
Hill, 50, of Underwood Place, Kilmarnock, was found guilty of driving dangerously on the A9 at Bankfoot on 24 June 2011. He was given an interim driving ban and sentence was deferred.
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