Driver ‘distracted by traffic report’ before fatal crash

Graham Flynn told police he suffered from epilepsy after the collision that killed Grace Stiven.

Driver ‘distracted by traffic report’ before fatal crash SNS Group

A driver claimed he was distracted by his radio traffic report before fatally running over a pensioner.

Graeme Flynn, 29, collided with pedestrian Grace Stiven, 84, as she crossed Jamaica Street in Glasgow.

The Mercedes driver told police he suffered from epilepsy after the collision on May 8, 2018.

Ms Stiven, a grandmother, was rushed to hospital meantime, but died the next day from her injuries.

Flynn, of Fallin, Stirling, was convicted of death by dangerous driving by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow.

Flynn was handed a not proven verdict to a charge of failing to inform the driving authorities about his epilepsy.

The driver told jurors in evidence his attention was diverted by his car’s radio while turning onto Jamaica Street.

Prosecutor Michael Meehan QC asked Flynn if he would have had a view of her crossing the road.

He replied: “I can’t say, I will be honest, I have been unable to look at footage whether that’s right or wrong.

“The only description I can give is I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you if I was looking ahead.

“When you move off the expectation is you look both ways but I would be lying If I said I was looking ahead, as I don’t know.

“The traffic announcement startled me and I pushed the wrong button on the car paddle gears, to get it back into automatic.

“I can’t stand here and say my driving was dangerous but I can say it was careless.”

The court heard Flynn later claimed to police at the scene that he suffered from epilepsy.

But, the driver told jurors that did not suffer from epilepsy and lied to doctors in 2015 who told him not to drive.

Forensic psychiatrist, Dr Khuram Khan, 47, stated Flynn suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen’s Syndrome.

The doctor was told Flynn “spun a story” about seizures due to bullying at his work at Vodafone.

Mr Khan added: “He knew of his sister’s history with epilepsy and made it up so he could take time off work to look for another job.

“He didn’t take medical advice not to drive as he knew he didn’t have epilepsy.”

The driver also admitted lying about his epilepsy in order to obtain a discounted railway card.

Flynn stated to jurors he told police about his epilepsy believing they would look up his records.

Jurors were told by collision investigator PC Ian Gary that Flynn was driving at 9.25 miles per hour at the point of impact.

He added: “The driver was stopped at a red traffic light at Midland Street.

“Ms Stiven crossed west to east across Jamaica Street.

“The driver turned right towards Jamaica Street when Miss Stiven was on the yellow box junction.

“The front near side of the car struck her causing her to go off her feet and land on the carriageway.

“She sustained a head injury and a pool of blood remained on the carriageway.

“Ms Stiven died from her injuries the next day.”

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports by judge Hughes who remanded Flynn in custody meantime.