Driver killed trucker while twice the drink limit

BMW driver was speeding on the rain-soaked M74 when his car struck a lorry.

Driver killed trucker while twice the drink limit Police Scotland

A motorist was still over the drink limit from the night before when he forced a lorry off the road, killing its driver.

Michael Hall was driving at almost 90mph when he lost control of his BMW on the rain-lashed M74 near Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire.

Hall struck the HGV driven by Malcolm Easton, 42, who didn’t survive the horror crash on May 2, 2019.

A judge heard how Hall was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit at the time.

His QC Ian Duguid told the High Court in Glasgow: “The alcohol was from the night before in celebration of a particular football match.”

The 38 year-old car sales manager is now behind bars after he pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He will be sentenced later this month.

The smash happened around 6.30pm with heavy rain making the roads “treacherous”.

Mr Easton, of Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, was on the M74 northbound driving his 44-tonne HGV lorry.

Another driver, meantime, saw Hall in BMW 240 on the same stretch.
She had to brake to avoid hitting him before he “disappeared out of sight pretty quickly”.

Prosecutor Bernard Ablett then told how Hall later went on to try and overtake Mr Easton.

Hall then appeared to “aquaplane” on the wet road and then spin out of control.

Mr Ablett: “He collided with Mr Easton’s HGV. Mr Easton would have had no warning that Hall’s vehicle was about to strike his.

“The force of the collision caused the HGV to jack-knife, break through a crash barrier and travel around 40 metres down a steep embankment.”

Other motorist stopped to try and help Mr Easton, but he had suffered a fatal head injury.

Footage from Mr Easton’s dash cam in his truck was played in court.

Mr Ablett said the collision happened “out of view”, but that it still showed the “effect” of the horror.

When police spoke to Hall, now of Leeds, Yorkshire, he appeared “bleary eyed” and smelling of drink.

He was found to have 47mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 22mg. Hall also pleaded guilty to that charge.

Crash investigators concluded Hall had been driving at up to 89mph at the time.

His QC Mr Duguid said university graduate Hall had shown “huge remorse” for what happened.

Lord Braid remanded him in custody as sentencing was deferred for reports.

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