Trucker who killed pensioner while driving wrong way on road jailed

Gary Tierney was driving the wrong way up A939 in Morayshire in October 2020 when he collided with the car carrying Matthew Donnell and wife Edith.

Trucker who killed Highland pensioner and seriously injured wife while driving wrong way on road jailed Google Maps

A trucker who killed a pensioner and left his wife badly hurt is behind bars.

Garry Tierney, 46, smashed head-on into a car driven by Matthew Donnell, 86, after going onto the wrong side of the road.

Matthew tragically never recovered following the crash on the A939 at Dava Moor in Morayshire on October 7, 2020.

The former soldier’s 81-year-old wife Edith Donnell suffered multiple injuries with medics initially fearing she also may not survive.

A judge heard how Tierney, of Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, asked another motorist at the horror scene if he knew what happened.

Tierney pled guilty to a charge of causing the death of Matthew and seriously injuring Edith due to dangerous driving.

He was remanded in custody at the High Court in Glasgow pending sentencing in October.

Tierney was driving an articulated lorry for Carntyne Transport that morning travelling south while ferrying a tanker of yeast.

The Donnells, of Grantown in the Highlands, were in a black Peugeot 208 heading north.

Prosecutor Chris McKenna said: “The collision was caused by Tierney driving his entire vehicle on the wrong side of the road.

“This resulted in the front offside of his vehicle colliding with the front of the Peugeot.”

A couple came upon the crash discovering Tierney’s lorry “jack-knifed” and the Donnells’ wrecked car down an embankment.

Other motorists stopped to help the Donnells as a 999 call was made.

Mr McKenna: “A woman briefly checked on the welfare of Tierney.

“He appeared in shock, was shaking and struggling to light his cigarette.

“Her husband was later approached by Tierney, who asked him if he knew what had happened.”

Matthew was found to have suffered fatal head injuries.

His distressed wife Edith – also known as Rose – was freed from the car and rushed to hospital.

Medics initially gave a “poor prognosis” for the OAP due to fractures to her ribs, spine and chest, but she recovered.

The court heard, however, Edith also has dementia and Matthew was her main carer.

Mr McKenna said, as a result, she has now been moved to a residential care home.

A probe into the crash occurred was carried out.

Tierney was not found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and had not been speeding at the time.

Investigators concluded he would have had “clear views” of the oncoming Peugeot and had “failed to react” before the smash.

The court heard Tierney received six points on his licence in June 2021 – eight months after the crash – for driving without insurance.

Tierney had been on bail before the hearing.

But, his lawyer David Nicolson told judge Lord Arthurson he was not moving for that to be continued.

Tierney was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on October 4 in Edinburgh.

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