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Trucker who killed ex-councillor given six-year driving ban

Keith Murray admitted causing the death of Barbara Vaughan in crash on the A9.

Keith Murray: The lorry driver was banned from the road.
Keith Murray: The lorry driver was banned from the road.

A lorry driver who killed a former councillor in a crash has been banned from the road for six years.

Keith Murray was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work following the death of Barbara Vaughan on the A9 in Perthshire.

Murray ploughed into the 77-year-old’s car after failing to react to a queue of traffic near Blair Atholl.

Ms Vaughan, once a Conservative councillor in the area, never recovered from her injuries and died in hospital.

Murray was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving. A judge heard the 49-year-old has vowed never to get behind the wheel again.

Ms Vaughan was travelling in her Renault Megane on the afternoon of the crash in December 2017. Murray was on the A9, meantime, working as a long-distance HGV driver.

Prosecutor Angela Gray told how roadworks caused a “long line” of traffic. As a result, motorists, including Ms Vaughan, had to stop.

One driver, however, noticed Murray approaching in his Mercedes lorry and appearing to not slow down.

Miss Gray said: “For some unknown reason, he failed to react to the stationary traffic.”

He crashed into the widow’s car, causing it to hurtle down an embankment.

Ms Vaughan was trapped in her upturned vehicle and two doctors in the area were called to her aid.

The pensioner was eventually freed and airlifted to hospital in Dundee. She had several broken ribs and cuts to her leg.

Ms Vaughan’s condition worsened after suffering a collapsed lung and she died on December 4.

Murray’s lawyer Barry Smith told the court: “He has no wish to return to driving as a consequence. He said he did not feel tired or unwell that day.

“However, he failed to observe the queuing traffic or react until it was sadly too late. He cannot explain that lapse, but he clearly struggles with the inability to explain his actions.”

The advocate added Murray, of Jarrow, South Tyneside, had also shown “sincere regret”.

Lord Arthurson imposed a community payback order which involves the unpaid work and two years supervision.

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