Glasgow bin lorry crash inquiry hears doctor ‘would not have cleared driver’

THE fatal accident inquiry into the Glasgow bin lorry crash that killed six people has heard that a doctor would have declared driver Harry Clarke ‘unfit to drive’ had his history of fainting been disclosed to her.

Clarke was behind the wheel of the bin lorry that careered down a busy street, smashing into a hotel on Glasgow’s central George Square on December 22, 2014. The six people who died were Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh.

Dr Joanne Willox told the inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday (August 7) that when she met with Clarke in December 2011 to fill out his HGV licence renewal, if she had been informed of an incident in April 2010 when he had fainted at the wheel of a stationary bus, she would not have cleared him to drive.

“I would have made him temporarily unfit for work as a driver, flagged it up to the DVLA, asked for his consent to write to his GP about what investigation had been done and to provide records of that. I would have told the city council he was not fit to drive and it would depend on the DVLA to decide about his licence,” she said.

It has been alleged that Clarke did not disclose relevant medical history to his employers, and he has been suspended from his position. 

The inquiry has been ongoing since July 22. 

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