City death crash driver told officers he was 'just sorry'

A DRIVER whose car mounted a pavement and killed two students, told police he was "just sorry", a fatal accident inquiry heard.

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William Payne, 53, told traffic police probing the double tragedy which took place in North Hanover Street, Glasgow on Decem-ber 17, 2010: "I thought I was fit to drive."

Mr Payne was cautioned by police for dangerous driving and when asked if he had anything to say, he replied: "Just nothing to say. Just sorry."

He told officers that he had been suffering blackouts since Christmas Day 2007 and he claimed that doctors told him it was a viral infection.

In a detailed interview Mr Payne said that his doctors had never told him there was a possibility of collapsing at the wheel.

Students Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20, were killed in the horror accident after Mr Payne's car mounted a pavement and hit them.

Mark Hopwood, 39, who was also struck and thrown on to the road, survived.

Mr Payne said the last thing he remembered was sitting at the traffic lights and then someone talking to him in his car after the accident.

The fatal accident inquiry at Glasgow Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Mr Payne held an HGV licence as well as an ordinary licence.

Mr Payne was asked why he had not said that he had suffered any blackouts before.

He said: "They kept telling me it was a viral infection."

In his interview Mr Payne revealed that a pacemaker had been fitted.

Mr Payne was asked why he had not informed DVLA or his insurance company about the blackouts and told police that his doctors told him it was a viral infection and gave him antibiotics to clear it up.

The court heard that for two-and-half years Mr Payne complained about feeling unwell with persistent sore throats and feeling tired. He said he had had eight or nine blackouts and that there was no warning of them.

Dr John Leitch, a consultant at the Southern General and Western Infirmary, a specialist in epilepsy said he had spoken to Mr Payne five days after he was admitted to hospital, following the accident.

Dr Leitch said: "He had two further episodes of blackouts in hospital."

The consultant said that according to Mr Payne there was no trigger to the blackouts.

The inquiry before sheriff Andrew Norman continues.

Transport Tragedy

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