Waste Vehicle Driver Jailed For A Year Over Pensioner’s Death

fatalityA waste collection vehicle driver has been sentenced to a year in prison after being pleading guilty to death by careless driving.

Wheelchair user, Peter Wills, 80, died from injuries sustained after Stirling Council recycling vehicle driver Scott Hamilton reversed into his electric wheelchair near Dunblane in December 2014.

Hamilton pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving by failing to check it was clear behind him before reversing. He was sentenced to one year in prison and also banned from driving for a year.

Judge Lord Ericht said that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

“We’d like to think that by his death, perhaps, the death of a child, or a cyclist, in the future might be prevented.”

Investigators found furrows on the tarmac, indicating the wheelchair had been pushed backwards for three-quarters of a metre, before it was pushed over and crushed, according to the BBC.

The court was told paramedics found Mr Wills unconscious and with no pulse. Doctors arrived by police helicopter, and he was pronounced dead.

Hamilton was crying and saying: “I didn’t see him, I didn’t see him”.

Wife of Mr Wills, Virginia Wills, told the BBC: “I don’t really care what happens to the driver, to be honest. But the other day one of my children said they saw a bin lorry with a sign on the back saying ‘we always check before reversing’.

“They thought that had gone on the backs of the lorries soon after Peter’s death. We’d like to think that what happened to him has made people, and the council, more careful.

“We’d like to think that by his death, perhaps, the death of a child, or a cyclist, in the future might be prevented.”

A Stirling Council spokesperson said: “This was a tragic situation and our thoughts have been, and remain with, Mr Wills’ family and friends.

“We have robust health and safety policies in place for our refuse vehicles and all of our drivers receive training for this and are expected to fully comply with them.

“Our vehicles have reversing sensors and comply with the recommendations made following the fatal accident inquiry into the Glasgow bin lorry incident.

“We are specifying that the new refuse collection vehicles for Stirling Council have camera recorders fitted.”

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